Private IT parks that meet the certification will be governed by the same set of rules that are applicable to government-owned IT parks.
More than a year after releasing the draft of the Information Technology Policy, the State government has finalised it with a vision to “plan, develop and market the State as the most preferred IT/ITES investment/business destination in India.”
Echoing the confidence expressed by Infosys co-founder and executive co-chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan at the recently held Emerging Kerala investors’ summit, the policy sets a vision to make the State 100 percent e-literate and digital.
IT parks set up by the government have over the years played a central part in whatever success the State has been able to achieve in the IT sector. The new IT policy also gives due importance to IT parks in achieving the visions set out for the State.
Significantly, the policy states that the State government will facilitate private initiatives to set up IT parks besides extending support to develop IT parks into townships, considering the growing demand of space from the industry for starting operations in the State.
To boost IT infrastructure in the State, government will promote private IT parks outside the government-owned IT parks. The government will frame guidelines and standards for the certification of such private IT parks.
Private IT Parks that meet the certification will be governed by the same set of regulations that are applicable to government-owned IT parks unless otherwise specified by the government.
The policy earmarks a slew of benefits to such private parks. All certified private IT parks will be brought under the Industrial Township and Single window clearance Board Act and they will be eligible to maximum FAR/FSI as applicable to the government-owned IT Parks.
The policy states that at least 50 per cent of the built-up area shall be used for IT/ITES purpose. Making an attempt to turn the State a fertile ground for start-ups, the Policy directs that five per cent of the total built-up area should be dedicated to startups or small IT units. Schemes for solar power generation and rainwater harvesting will be set as a condition for approving private IT parks.
However, the Policy emphasises that the promotion of private IT Parks will not be at the cost of government-owned parks.
The policy envisages turning IT Parks into IT townships to attract quality professionals who prefer locations with good quality of life and infrastructure. The policy states that up to 30 per cent of the land in government-owned IT parks may be allotted for creating commercial amenities subject to the assessment on the needs of each park by the respective boards. One of the clauses, which may attract flak from various corners in the long run is the authority given to respective boards of IT parks to allot land to government, non-IT engineering or consulting and educational agencies at commercial prices. The policy states the Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd will continue to create basic infrastructure, including road access, water, and electricity for each project and allot land to Private Developer/ IT company for development of IT parks/SEZs/townships.