Telangana Announces Draft Policy for Blockchain District in Hyderabad

The state government of Telangana has announced a new policy to make Hyderabad the epicentre of the blockchain industry in India. In a new draft policy document, the government has offered a slew of incentives along with regulatory and infrastructure support to blockchain-based businesses in Hyderabad.

According to the policy, Telangana will focus on:

  • High impact sectors such as banking, financial services and insurance; pharmaceuticals and healthcare; government departments and institutions; and logistics and supply chain.
  • Working closely with stakeholders to provide supporting infrastructure, develop a talent pool, promote research & innovation and enable collaboration and community building.
  • Supporting representation of the industry consortium at national and international events
  • Identifying new use cases in areas such as voting, supply chain visibility and government transactions

The draft blockchain policy has also proposed that enterprises get subsidies on lease rentals, exhibition rentals and land, in addition to other incentives. Startups will also be offered reimbursements for the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST), travel and ticket costs, internet charges and patent filing along with grants. There are also various non-financial regulatory incentives being offered to blockchain-based businesses.

Blockchain Policy Takes an Anti-Crypto Stance

The draft policy makes all the right noises in terms of supporting infrastructure, talent pool and research & innovation. However, in its section on collaboration and community building, the draft policy erroneously states that

Since cryptocurrencies’ popularity overshadows that of blockchain’s, many people still tend to confuse between the two. Because the blockchain technology is still new, there’s a lack of general awareness within the larger developer community. The government will run strategically designed awareness program to tackle this challenge.

Page 10, Telangana Blockchain Policy Draft

This showcases the level of misunderstanding that exists among government departments about cryptocurrencies. The statement above implies that cryptocurrencies are somewhat different from blockchain technology. Such a misinformed statement in a government policy document makes us very skeptical about the prospects of these plans.

We have done a detailed analysis in a video on our YouTube channel for our Indian viewers. Do check it out:

Readers can view a detailed summary and access the draft policy document in this Medianama report.