This government will provide an adequate, optimal policy for data centres, which is beneficial to the citizens and enables the entrepreneurs and the ecosystem
The Maharashtra government, in a month’s time will come out with a policy on the business of data centres, a senior official said on Thursday. The official said, governing the information technology sector under which data centres currently operate, the state already has a comprehensive policy, but a need was felt to have a separate policy exclusively for the data centres business given the very high growth in data centres and the policy lagging behind the industry.
The official, when asked about the timeline for the launch of such a policy, said the industries department under Uday Samant is taking the lead in the formulation of the policy and added that the document will come out in 30 days.
Such a policy will be very helpful for an orderly growth of the industry, said Kaustubh Dhavse, a joint secretary to the government, who also serves as the official on special duty for deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, while speaking at an event hosted by industry lobby grouping CII.
“This government will provide an adequate, optimal policy for data centres, which is beneficial to the citizens and enables the entrepreneurs and the ecosystem,” Dhavse said.
He said the policy in the works will also address the power issue by stressing on green and sustainable energy.
Fadnavis also holds the energy portfolio in the state government.
There are many questions and “questionable operators” in the data centre space, which need to be looked at, said Dhavse.
More clarity is required on some aspects related to the Goods and Services Tax issues, and some complicated matters regarding the same have been brought to the government’s notice, he acknowledged.
“He said Maharashtra was among the first states to move its data centres to cloud and added that in 2015 it was operating 75 big and small data centres, and spending Rs 450 crore a year to add space which was a “big wake up call.”
Also, to explore possibilities on using liquified natural gas (LNG) for the energy needs of the state, the government met some investors from Qatar earlier this week, Dhavse mentioned.
He said, unlike the prevalent energy source coal, which can be mined locally, the imported LNG will require forward contracts for up to five years to ensure price fluctuations do not happen.
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