Centre rejects Infosys proposal to set up IT SEZ in West Bengal

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on August 22, 2016


IT major waiting for approval by State government

The Centre has rejected software major Infosys’ proposal to set up an IT SEZ in West Bengal, as it did not have the backing of the State government.

After deliberations, the Board of Approval (BoA) for SEZs, which met earlier this month, rejected Infosys’ proposal due to lack of recommendation from the West Bengal government, as per minutes of the meeting.

“The BoA decided to drop the proposal as it is not possible to build a SEZ without approval from the specific State where it is to be set up. The West Bengal government under the Trinamool Congress has been opposed to SEZs and it is not surprising that it did not send a letter of recommendation for the project,” a government official told BusinessLine.

Wipro given time

The BoA, in its last meeting however, had not rejected a similar proposal from IT company Wipro, which too wanted to set up an SEZ in West Bengal. Instead, the BoA had deferred the proposal, giving the company more time to secure the State government’s approval.

Infosys has proposed to set up an IT/ITeS SEZ over an area of 20.14 hectares in South 24 Parganas. The Development Commissioner of Falta Special Economic Zone had recommended grant of in-principle approval, subject to State government clearance, which has been sought for by the applicant.

CM’s stance

While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had taken a hard stand against Special Economic Zones in her first term, the industry is hopeful that she will be more flexible in her on-going second stint. However, she has not yet shown any sign of relenting as her government has not given approval to either Infosys or Wipro for their proposed SEZs despite the fact that they have been waiting for several years.

Of the total 330 notified SEZs in the country, just five are in West Bengal. The SEZs, all in the IT/ITES sector, were notified during the Left regime prior to 2011.

Published on August 22, 2016

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