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Rediff.com  » Business » Land problems not to mar Bengal IT sector prospects

Land problems not to mar Bengal IT sector prospects

May 28, 2009 11:58 IST
Despite the slowdown and the poll debacle state IT minister is still upbeat about attracting investments in the IT sector.

Realty major DLF, after pulling out from the Rs 33,000 crore (Rs 330 billion) Dankuni township project, has sought denotification of the IT/ITeS SEZ it proposed to build on 25.89 acres in Rajarhat on the northern fringes of Kolkata. Infosys and Wipro are yet to get possession of land sought for its IT SEZ.

The Rajarhat SEZ was notified on June 23, 2008. One of the main reason as mentioned in the website of BoA for de-notification of the (Rajarhat) SEZ was slowdown in the economy and liquidity crunch in the overall industry. Debesh Das, state IT minister however was confident about attracting investments this year.

Speaking on the sidelines of an interactive seminar organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Das said, Many big IT players are still interested to come to Bengal, all the IT projects will happen. No one has formally decided to pull out.

Till date no IT projects have been stalled because of land issue. We have every intention to give land to Infosys Wipro,  ICICI, all who have approached us. It will take some time though, he pointed out. He, however, failed to mention any timeline.

It is to be noted that  the state had signed back-to-back MoUs with Infosys and Wipro and promised both companies 90 acres each at Vedic Village in April last year.But land was yet to be allotted to both the companies.

However, the growth in employment in the IT sector this year would be a bit slackened by the current downturn, it might be less than 30 per cent, the minister added. In total 30 IT companies have come to Bengal this year till date, mainly export oriented.

The Rs 6 crore (Rs 60 million) venture fund launched by the State IT department in 2007, might be raised by another Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) or more this year.

BS Reporter in Kolkata
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