State wooing Infosys but can’t provide SEZ benefits

The Union Information Technology Ministry has declined a West Bengal request to extend the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) scheme by a year to enable the government to provide special fiscal concessions to IT major Infosys for setting up its first campus in the State.  

“Long after we approached the Centre, the IT Minister wrote saying it is not possible [to extend the benefits of STPI scheme],” West Bengal Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee told the Assembly on Thursday.  

The appeal was made as the State government mounted a desperate bid to lure Infosys to invest in West Bengal, which was not in a position to extend SEZ benefits to the IT company given its policy stand against special economic zones.

 “Infosys should come here; no one is opposing it… But we have given a commitment to the people that we will not allow SEZs in the State,” Mr. Chatterjee said.  

S. Gopalakrishnan (Kris), executive co-chairman of Infosys, who was in the city last week, said the company was still waiting for an SEZ or similar benefits to set up its campus here.  

“We need SEZ status and that is what we told the State government. They said then that we would figure out how other benefits could be provided. So that is the situation... We said we will wait,” Mr. Gopalakrishnan told journalists.  

 On the ban imposed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on setting up new industries in the Haldia industrial zone, Mr. Chatterjee said it had not lifted despite requests to the Centre. 

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