Telangana’s Revolutionary Blockchain Policy6 months ago Madhureema RoyMoulik
In a one-of-a-kind move, the Telangana government introduced a bill to revolutionise and accelerate blockchain technology in the nation in, May 2018. The bill intends to create a Blockchain District within the State that will house all major blockchain technology companies; have a huge incubator and world-class facilities for promoting research, innovation and industry collaboration.
By definition, “blockchain is a distributed, decentralized, public ledger.” This mechanism first came into the lime light with the success of Bitcoin in around 2015. At its most basic level, blockchain is literally just a chain of blocks, but not in the traditional sense of those words. When we say the words “block” and “chain” in this context, we are actually talking about digital information (the “block”) stored in a public database (the “chain”). “Blocks” on the blockchain are made up of digital pieces of information. The three main types of blocks are – Blocks that store information about transactions like the date, time, and dollar amount of your purchases; Blocks that store information about who is participating in transactions and Blocks that store information that distinguishes them from other blocks.
Experts from around the world have predicted that Blockchain technology is on its way to be the next big thing in the field of finance and might completely renew the way we perceive and practice banking. In the light of these facts, the bill raised by the IT, Electronics & Communications Department of the Telangana government is a very strategic move to establish Hyderabad as one of the top 10 blockchain hubs in the world.
The policy and the Blockchain District will be based around four main pillars: Developing talent pool, supporting infrastructure, promoting research and innovation; and enabling collaboration and building community .“IT infrastructure facility for the provision of cloud-hosted computing and storage through T-Cloud will be extended at subsidized rates thus allowing for a future vision of blockchain as a service provided by the blockchain district,” the draft policy states. In addition, The government intends to encourage technology institutions in Telangana to add blockchain in their curriculum. It also aims to vitalize its employees to undergo workshops launched in blockchain technology to facilitate better adoption within the government.
The government is also offering incentives to companies developing blockchain products and delivering blockchain services. These include:
– 25% subsidy on lease rentals up to Rs 5,00,000 a year for the first 3 years of operations
– A tailor-made incentive package for mega blockchain projects or marquee blockchain companies.
– Land will be allotted at subsidized rates to blockchain companies by Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited and the guidelines specified for regular ICT companies in terms of annual revenue, investment promises, employment creation promises will be partially relaxed for blockchain firms.
– For all the research projects sponsored by companies in technical universities, an equal amount of investment will be made by the government as well for up to Rs 5 lakh per year for the next 3 years.
But that is not the end of it, the draft contains more good news for startups! The bill promises 100% reimbursement of State GST for a period of 3 years to startups with revenues less than Rs 5 crore, R&D grant up to 10% of the R&D expenses or up to 2% of the annual turnover (whichever is lesser) to the start-ups innovating in blockchain technology in Telangana, one-time startup grant of Rs 10 lakh will be provided to a maximum of 10 blockchain startups per year for the next 3 years, and much more.
Given all these salient features, this bill, if passed could completely revamp and metamorphose the state of IT and investment not just in the state, but also in the nation and place Hyderabad in the same league as other top global technology hubs.