Infosys to mark its maiden entry in West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

Infosys
In a major breakthrough, West Bengal's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said IT major Infosys will invest Rs 100 crore in the state and set up a 50-acre campus in Rajarhat area, near Kolkata.

Infosys has long been demanding special economic zone (SEZ) status to mark its maiden entry in West Bengal. Banerjee clarified that Infosys will not get the SEZ status, as per the state's policy; but will be eligible for other benefits.

She claimed it will create thousands of jobs in the state.

In July this year, Wipro, which too wanted an SEZ status for its second campus in West Bengal, had decided to let go of the demand. Rishad Premji, chief strategy officer at Wipro had then said, on a visit to Kolkata for a Nasscom event, that the company was in talks with the state government to come up with newer opportunities and proposals.

Banerjee also earlier said that as per law, no new SEZ licences could be granted after April 1 this year which has made it "sunset for now".

Infosys had already paid for the land to the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation.

Narayana Murthy, Infosys' co-founder, during the former Left Front regime had expressed his interest to open faciltiies in the state in 2005 and 2006. However, the much touted project faced problems due to land price and it wasn't before 2010 that the company finally received 50 acres of land for Rs 75 crore. The company wanted to operate under the then prevalent SEZ policy.

However, the following year, the Left Front regime ended and the Trinamool Congress, which was against grant of any SEZ, came to power. 

In December 2016, however, the Trinamool government passed the West Bengal Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Assembly. The amendment provides a maximum 50 per cent exemption in property tax for land or building used exclusively for IT industry and IT-enabled services for a period of 12 years.