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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Maharashtra to draft fresh policies for IT, fintech and drones

While the new IT policy will focus on infrastructure and incentives for IT, ITeS in smaller cities, the fintech policy aims to convert Mumbai into a global fintech hub, says Minister for IT Satej Patil

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: August 29, 2021 7:39:03 am
Congress MLA Satej Patil (Source: Twitter/@satejp)

The state government, which is drafting a new IT policy, will also come up with policies for data centres, fintech and drones, Maharashtra Minister of State for Information Technology Satej Patil said Saturday.

“Since our existing IT policy is expiring, we are in the process of launching the new IT policy. It aims to encourage tech companies to accelerate tech adoption and promote the IT industry in the state. The policy which is being drafted in consultation with NASSCOM and IT industry associations will focus on steps, incentives, tax rebates to attract IT, ITeS and IT-enabled companies in smaller cities (tier-2 and tier-3) like Nagpur, Latur, Nashik and Aurangabad,” he said.

Patil said the government has been exploring the use of technology for administrative activities, including pandemic-related management and flood mitigation. “We are taking steps to ensure that IT plays an important role in the daily life of the common man by using e-governance initiatives like e-office and Maharashtra blockchain sandbox, among others,” he said.

Patil said the government was chalking out policies for IT-related categories as well. “We are also formulating our own data centre policy,” he said.

As of now, IT companies have mostly been focusing on Mumbai and Pune for setting up their units. The upcoming IT policy will provide the right kind of infrastructure and incentives to establish IT companies in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. “Setting up units in these new locations would help avoid the saturation witnessed in Mumbai, Thane and Pune,” he said.

The minister said the Maharashtra government will also launch a fintech policy with a vision to convert Mumbai into a global fintech hub. “The IT department is studying the best practices in the fintech sector with a focus on government and regulatory support to formulate the fintech policy. It will be launched soon with an aim to create the right kind of IT infrastructure for fintech companies and startups in Mumbai,” he said.

Like the central government, the state too is planning to unveil its drone policy for healthcare, agriculture, power, flood monitoring and so on, said Patil. “During the pandemic, drone technology came as a big support in monitoring quarantine, hotspots and Covid-19 curbs.”

Drones will be a great enabler during the rainy season in Mumbai, not only for inspection of drains and waterlogging but also for providing relief and food. “It will help in surveillance and security mechanisms at sensitive places like the international airport and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,” he said.

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