News and Updates
Wipro to Expand in West Bengal
Infosys’ maiden venture may not be the only good news on Bengal’s IT hor-izon. A top-level team from the state’s IT department on Monday met officials of Wipro, right after a breakfast meeting with Infosys officials, in Bengaluru. The objective was to convince the Azim Premji-led IT major to invest in its proposed second campus in Rajarhat.
A source, however, said the state “was in no hurry”, and was adopting a wait-and-watch approach.
Infosys and Wipro have both been sitting on their allotted plots in Rajarhat-New Town (for Infosys’ first campus, and Wipro’s second) for the last nine years. Wipro’s first campus, in Salt Lake’s Sector V, is an SEZ. It was set up in 2005, during the Left regime. The IT major had demanded a similar status for the second, but that went against the current regime’s industrial policy.On Monday, the state officials met Wipro senior VP and global head (operation) Hariprasad Hegde and his team and explained to them the “other benefits” on offer ins-tead of the SEZ status and the “positive industrial environment” in the state . A questi-onnaire sent to Wipro headquarters in Bengaluru, however, didn’t elicit any response till the time of going to press.
A source close to the IT department said chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement at the July 6 Nasscom meet on the inability to provide SEZ status to industrial units in Bengal had cleared the deck for the Infosys investment. The chief minister had informed industry bigwigs that the state government was ready to offer any facility to the IT sector, except SEZ status, as it became “a sunset policy already”, following the onset of GST. “Infosys officials knew our government’s stance well before we met them. Thus, they never again raised the SEZ issue but asked about the ‘other facilities on offer’ and a ‘level-playing field’, as the chief minister said. And we could explain our government’s list of assistances to be offered to Infosys,” the source added.