February 17, 2009

West Bengal optimistic over Infosys plant Should be set up this year

KOLKATA, February 16, 2009: The Government of West Bengal is bullish about Infosys' plans to set up in the state in FY 2009, in spite of repeated delays. The recent Nano pull-out owing to strong political opposition has worried some major IT companies, including Wipro, which were headed towards West Bengal.

Speaking to media at the ISA Vision Summit, Bengal's minister for information technology and biotechnology, Debesh Das, reassured his audience that the government was planning to provide the required land to Infosys, probably this year.

Das said, "Last year, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the West Bengal government. They have already planned for a set-up in Kolkata and the proposal still exists. We need to provide the land. We are trying to get though some private initiatives and we are in the process of getting it. There is some 1,200 acres of land. We have shown Wipro and Infosys what is the exact area of land, what is the exact place and also what is the government’s actual plan. The site we have chosen near the airport. We will give the land to them and I hope, within few months, it will be done. They still have the interest."

Das added, "There is no such pull-out in West Bengal IT industry. In FY 08, 33 companies set up their stores in the state." The minister firmly believes that FY 09 will witness a bigger number. Wipro has also expressed ts interest in the West Bengal project. The state government is also offering incentives to SMBs as well as the biggies.

The minister seems to be unconcerned by worries from corporates about the state's disturbed image in regard to the Nano pull-out. He said, "This is just a perception. There is no impact on the IT industry."

Meanwhile, he stressed his view that India should develop its own specialities, rather than following other nations in the semiconductor front. Das said, "We need to focus on our own research. Scandavinian nations have been focusing on wireless and South Korea in memory. India should have a similar focus and bring out something unique, for example, medical science."
Das warned companies about the deep state of concern about job safety among employees. Das said that once the industry comes out of recession, companies will find it tough to get resources, as repeated layoffs have put people off a career in IT.

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