Are companies guaranteed SEZ benefit & is it the only way to promote industry. If a trade unions ask it is considered demand, if companies threaten blackmail it is considered growth! Is their Logic?
SEZ: Infy Kolkata campus deadlock continues
Infosys had paid Rs 75 cr for the 50-acre plot in Rajarhat but was yet to start work on it as it awaits for the SEZ nod from the state government
There seems to be no near-term solution to the Infosys’ Rajarhat campus puzzle over the special economic zone (SEZ) status. S Gopalakrishnan, executive co-chairman at Infosys, said he would come back and discuss the issue with state government on whether any alternative option could be reached at, but no timeline for it.
Infosys had paid Rs 75 crore for the 50-acre plot in Rajarhat but was yet to start work on it as it awaits for the SEZ nod from the state government, a demand ruled out byTrinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. TMC considers SEZs against the party’s ideologies.
When an area is notified as an SEZ, for the first five years, businesses have to pay no tax on income. For the next five years, they have to pay half the tax on income. Even labour laws are different.
“We will come and discuss the issue with state government. I am hopeful about the project but not very much. Based on the availability of the minister, based on our own people’s availability we will come and discuss,” Gopalakrishnan said at the sidelines of CII’s annual regional meeting here today.
Infosys has been planning to set up a campus in Bengal since 2004, but faced problems first with the price of land, and then with the Vedic Village land debacle in 2009. In November 2010, the company approached the then Left Front government. On November 24, 2010, Infosys was allocated 50 acres in Rajarhat within hours of the government receiving request for land. The campus is expected to create 15,000 jobs.
Gopalakrishnan said the IT industry is growing at rate of around 10 per cent so there is no need for immediate expansion. “We also need to remember that the industry is going through a period of slow growth so the pressure (to expand) is also not there,” he added.
Partha Chatterjee, the state industries minister, who was also present,said, “They have some business issue while we have some issues related to our ideologies so we need to sit and try and reach an alternative.”
Gopalakrishnan added, “We have to be competitive, other companies are already enjoying SEZ benefit. Every government; every political party has its policy, has its platform. We respect that. Having said that, it is important that they promote industry. This is a case where it is taking time and that is why we will come back and discuss this.”