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West Bengal woo Knowledge Industry in a big way

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore, Oct 28 (UNI) West Bengal, one of the fastest growing State and recipient of the second highest inflow of investment in India, is aggressively wooing the Information Technology industry by offering various sops and the highly talented mind power.

Briefing media on the initiatives taken by the state in this regard, Minister-in-charge of Department of Information Technology, Prof Debesh Das, said the state offered one of the best talent pool that was being trained in prestigious high learning centres like IIT Kharagpur, IIM Kolkata and the prestigious universities of Calcutta and Jadavpur and from the 65 engineering colleges.

He said apart from Centres of high learning the state offered various sops like land allotment within one month, interest and trading subsidies. He said 45,000 IT professionals were already working in the 250 plus IT based companies which included most of the top players within India and abroad. The state had begun work creating a further 13 million sq ft of built in space for the IT industry which was expected to provide an additional 1.30 lakh jobs.

The state government already had five SEZs functioning at Haldia, Kharagpur, Durgapur, Siliguri and Kolkata and land had been allotted for another in the state capital. Apart from this the state boasted of one of the best infrastructure in the country and was also a power surplus state, he said.

''We want more IT, BPO companies to come to our state, companies coming to set up industries in Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), design, mobile communication, semi conductor development will be given priority. Of course manufacturing companies and steel makers will continue to get preference in our state. We have set ourselves a target to take our share of the national GDP contribution from the present three to four per cent to 15 per cent. We also want to achieve a cent per cent industrial growth from the present 40 per cent,'' Dr Deb added.

The state offered a seven-point opportunity areas of IT industry, which included Software development, IT-enabled services, Niche hardware manufacture, IT-driven Security, IT real estate, HR and Social infrastructure. The other advantage was that West Bengal was strategically located, the gateway to South Asian countries where the Indian IT companies were making increased foray and forging partnerships.

The minister said Communism did not come in the way of rolling a red carpet to the IT sector in which job security or trade unionism was at the minimum. ''The application of Communism is changing and not the ideology. We have allowed 24x7 companies and they are not facing any problem. You shoud not forget the case of China, which being a communist country had ushered in IT revolution that too without the help of the U.S. Communism is not against industrialisation,'' he added.

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