Mamata says no to SEZ, Infosys likely to exit from Bengal

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Kolkata, Jan 14: IT giant Infosys is considering of surrendering the land in Bengal, thanks to the state chief minister's rigid stance of not granting them the special economic zone (SEZ), a report published in Anandabazaar Patrika said on Wednesday.

According to the report, Infosys's Senior Vice-president Ramadas Kamath met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on January 5, three days ahead of Biswa Banga Sammelan, the global business summit held in the state, and expressed their interest in going ahead with their project in the state but sought the SEZ for that.

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The chief minister stopped the meeting then and there and asked Kamath there will be no further talks on the matter, the ABP report said.

The disappointed authorities of Infosys are even thinking of officially scrapping their project in Kolkata.

Sources in Infosys said Kamath went to see the land for the project in Rajarhat area of Kolkata on January 4 and even expressed content with it. He reportedly said that world could be started in the area as soon as the SEZ status is granted. He met state officials the next day but it all finally went down to Banerjee who shattered all hopes for the IT giant.

The only IT firm that was mentioned during the Bengal global summit was Tata Consultancy Services which got permission during the previous Left Front government.

Even the claim made by Banerjee's government that investment worth over Rs 2,40,000 crore materialised during the recent summit was seen with suspicion.

Infosys's story has not been a smooth one. The firm's co-founder, Narayana Murthy first expressed interest to invest in Bengal in 2005 and in 2006, his firm also sought 100 acres from the then government. The project faced problems in pricing but it was in 2010 that the firm got 50 acres land for 75 crore rupees.

The situation turned worse after Mamata Banerjee took over as the chief minister as her government refused to grant the much sought SEZ status to the firm. The firm went completely silent on the matter even after the then Bengal industries ministers Partha Chatterjee went to Bengaluru to meet officials of Infosys.

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