Has Bengal lost interest in Infy?

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The West Bengal government seems to have lost hope to have Infosys facility in West Bengal. It becomes evident as no state government representative will meet Infosys chairman emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy, who will be here on Friday to attend two different programmes.

On being asked whether he would meet Mr Narayana Murthy during the latter’s stay in the city, state IT minister Partha Chatterjee replied: “No. What will be the benefit of such a meeting?” He sounded depressed for not being able to break the impasse of getting Infosys in the state.

Infosys is asking for SEZ status for its proposed facility as it is a part of their global policy but the Mamata Banerjee government is opposed to SEZ which has made the project a non-starter.

The 50-acre plot which was allotted to the Infosys at New Town- Rajarhat by the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation in 2011 remains totally unutilised.

The company has been allotted land at Rs1.5 crore per acre. Nonutilisation of the land has also raised questions inside the government about the justification of the decision to allot such a big plot to a “nonstarter project”.

According to sources in the HIDCO, the price of that land is now around Rs12 crore an acre. “It is meaningless that the land will remain unutilised for an indefinite period. We believe that the land should be taken back immediately and re-allotted to others at the present market price,” sources said.

However, the state government is quite worried that such a decision will have a serious impact on the investment scenario in the state.

“The question of taking back the land does not arise as we desperately want to see this showcase project happening. We sincerely hope that a solution will come in near future,” a senior IT department
official said.

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