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Infy to meet Bengal IT minister tomorrow

February 28, 2012 14:47 IST

InfosysRepresentatives of information technology giant Infosys will meet the West Bengal IT minister Partha Chatterjee and take the final call on their Rajarhat campus on Wednesday, February 29.

"I am meeting him in the morning on February 29," said Chatterjee.

The meeting, which is being viewed as the last-ditch effort at salvaging West Bengal's Infosys dream, will take place at a time when state chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, even on Monday said the company's campus would not be given special economic zone status.

"As a principled stand, we'll not give SEZ status to Infosys. But we'll extend all benefits to the company as available in the IT sector," Banerjee told a private news channel earlier in the day.

The company, which has stated time and again that it will have to consider returning land if SEZ status was not given, is viewing the meeting with an open mind, where they want to see what the West Bengal administration is placing on offer.

"We want to see what benefits they are talking about. We will take the final decision once we have met them," Binod Hampapur, senior vice-president and global head of commercial and corporate relation, had earlier told Business Standard.

The proposed campus in question is supposed to come up at Rajarhat, at the outer fringes of Kolkata. It is spread of 50-acres land, which Infosys has already bought at Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) an acre at a total cost of Rs 75 crore, which has been paid in full already.

The company is awaiting the West Bengal government's recommendation for SEZ, to be sent to the centre, so that the work on the campus can start.

The Trinamool Congress government, led by Mamata Banerjee, is against SEZs and hence refused to send this recommendation, prompting Infosys to state that it would have to return the land, because in the absence of SEZ, the project is financially unviable.

The stand was reiterated by Banerjee today.

"We want Infosys to come to the state; we have full sympathy for them.

But we'll not be able to give SEZ as we are opposed to it along with our resistance to FDI in retail, forcible acquisition of land and privatisation of banking and insurance sector. We have a principled stand on all these issues," she said.

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BS Reporter in Kolkata
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