STPI (Software Technology Parks of India) Scheme

Established in the year 1991, the 'Software Technology Parks of India' (STPI) is a government of India managed export oriented scheme for the development and export of computer software, including export of professional services.

The STPI Scheme provides various benefits including 100% foreign equity, tax incentives, duty free import, duty free indigenous procurement, CST reimbursement, DTA entitlement, deemed export etc. In fact, the scheme can largely be credited for attracting foreign investment and sealing India's reputation of a technology super power on the world stage.

These are just some of benefits of the STPI scheme.

  • Income tax holiday as per section 10A of the IT Act
  • Customs duty exemption on imports of capital equipment
  • Permission to set up STP anywhere in India
  • Import of equipment on loan or lease basis
  • Single window clearance approval scheme
  • Reimbursement of Central Sales Tax on indigenously procured items
  • Provision for import of all relevant equipment/goods including second hand equipment (except prohibited items)
  • Exemption of 100% excise duty on indigenous items procurement
  • Permission for 100% Foreign Direct Investment through 'Automatic Route' of RBI
  • Green card enabling priority treatment for government clearances / other services
  • Sales in the DTA (Domestic Tariff Area) up to 50% of the foreign exchange earned by the STP/EHTP unit
  • 100% Depreciation on capital goods over a period of five years
  • Use of computer systems for training purposes (including commercial training) by software units
  • Permission of sale of the products or services in the Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) to 50% of the export value
  • Exemption from paying corporate income tax for a block of 10 years (2009)
  • Permission to start call centres

Foreign companies who wish to set up office in India need to meet the following statutory procedures.

Accounting procedure: It is mandatory for all STP units to maintain separate account and annual balance sheet for its operations. Companies need to maintain all sales invoices, copies of contracts from different buyers, separate vouchers along with the cashbook and bankbook, and fixed asset register.

Periodic Compliance Services

1. Statutory Reports for STP Units: You will be required to maintain monthly Progress Reports (MPR) & Quarterly Progress Reports (QPR) and submit them by the 7th of a month on completion of previous month and by 10th of a month on completion of previous quarter respectively in the prescribed format. Besides, annual Performance Reports (APR) are also to be submitted as per the prescribed format. Non-submission of these reports can lead to adverse consequences including denial of services of STPI.

2. Statutory compliance for STP units: These include maintenance of all accounts including bank accounts.

If you are an industrial enterprise operating both as a domestic unit as well as an EHTP/STP unit, you will need to maintain two distinct identities with separate accounts, including separate bank accounts. However, you don't have to maintain separate legal entity for each unit, but your records should be maintained such that it is possible to distinguish the imports and exports or supplies affected by the EHTP/STP units from those made by the other units of the enterprise.

Accounts need to be maintained as under:

  • Sales Invoices
  • Fixed Asset Registers
  • Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate file (FIRC) & Bank Realization Certificate (BRC) file with originals
  • Contract files containing contracts with all buyers

Banking: While you can have multiple bank accounts, you would need to designate a single branch of the bank to submit all export documents.

RegisterInIndia undertakes the registration of unit under STP Scheme and provides end-to-end solutions to units in all legal, regulatory and compliance matters. We can help you meet the all the above statutory procedures to take advantage of the STPI scheme.