Millennium Post

Bengal government hopeful of Infosys investment soon

Bengal government is hopeful about the investment from Infosys, the Indian multinational corporation which helps out business consulting, information technology and outsourcing service.

The company which already has its strong presence in Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and even in Bhubaneshwar, completed the payment for 50 acres of land that they took in Bengal, at North 24 Parganas Rajarhat.

But sticking to their long standing demand for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status, the company restricted the project from initiating. However, the Bengal government is looking for a quick decision by Infosys authority.

“We are really hopeful about Infosys investment. 

It is a positive thing that they have cleared the pending payment of land, which seems that they are interested to invest here,” said state Information Technology and Electronics minister Bratya Basu.

The state government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was strongly against giving SEZ status to any organisation, but Infosys was offered ‘tax exemption’ earlier for bringing a solution to this long standing issue.

The first line officers of Infosys had come to Kolkata to discuss the matter with the state government, but no such solution had come out. Infosys’s demand was not in line with state government’s overall policy for the tax free zone. But the state government believes that situation is likely to change.

With the clearence of payment from company’s side, they would probably initiate the project in the near 
future. “We cannot say it is a concrete development. But we are really hopeful about it,” Basu said talking to the Millennium Post. The state government is ready to discuss the matter with the company, but on government’s own terms and condition, he added.

It will be recalled, Information Technology and Electronics minister gave explanations on the present status of this issue at state Assembly.

The Opposition questioned him about why the company is holding back the project, which can create thousands of jobs. Basu’s reply was simple.

He said that the state government’s I-T policy was made keeping in mind the regular infrastructural demands of all the I-T firms. No one I-T firm can be treated as special. He said, if any specific company is demanding SEZ, it does not mean that the government has to provide the status to them. The government will only look into the totality.

Information Technology department source informed that state government is in talk with Infosys. The officers hope to get a solution by middle of this year. “We believe that the mindset may change. After all, no one can deny that Bengal is best talent pool in I-T across the country,” the source said.

In 2009, Infosys and another software giant Wipro were given around 50 acres of land at Rajarhat, during erstwhile Left Front government.

Former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya announced the bid in which both the company promised to generate thousands of jobs. Wipro was supposed to build its second campus in the state and Infosys was ready to set up its maiden campus.

Both the company demanded 90 acres, but the old deal was cancelled due to ‘Vedic Village’ scandal breaking out. Trinamool Congress is opposing forcible land acquisition, but the new SEZ policy framed by Centre refers to acquisition of large tracts of land.
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