WB sees big growth in IT sector, offers sops to new entrants

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Bangalore, Oct 29 (UNI) West Bengal, a relatively new player to cash in on the IT boom witnessed in the country, today projected a higher growth with major IT companies looking towards the eastern State to set up their units.

Speaking to mediapersons on the new plans to attract the IT sector at the venue of the four-day Bangalore IT.in, Asia's biggest ICT event which began here today, Dr Debesh Das, West Bengal Minister-in-charge of IT, said the State had achieved a growth rate of 46 per cent in the IT sector last year, compared to the national average of 32 per cent.

''Today Bengal has more than 500 IT companies employing 55,000 IT professionals, with export revenue touching Rs 3,600 crore during the last fiscal. The State has an ambitious plan of contributing 15 per cent share of India's total IT and ITeS exports by 2010,'' he added.

The increased demand for land for building IT infrastructure was being addressed by the State and new areas were being identified and developed by the Government as IT hubs. Salt Lake and New Town Rajarhat had been developed to house most of the IT companies and the third hub was coming up fast at Jagdalpur near Kolkata.

''Our focus will be on the semiconductor sector and we are inviting chip designer companies in a big way. They are welcome to set up shops in Kharagpur IT park which will have all the facilities they want. Besides, the Bengal Government offers the entire ecosystem for the VLSI industry,'' he said.

Dr Das had come along with the infrastructure development partners of the Bengal Government in a bid to show that the State was an attractive and marketable IT destination.

The Minister said the Government would develop IT parks and IT SEZs in Kalyani, Durgapur, Siliguri, Kharagpur and Haldia as these tier-II cities had inherent advantages such as physical connectivity, land availability and cost, urban and social infrastructure and level of private sector interest.

UNI

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