West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today categorically said that it is difficult for the state government to give SEZ status to Wipro for its second development centre in the state. “Premji’s (Azim Premji of Wipro) son wanted SEZ status for the second project here. But due to policy of the government, we will not be able to accord that,” Banerjee said at a Nasscom gathering here. She said that SEZs were approaching the sunset clause, so some other means could be thought of. In last year’s Union budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that tax benefits to SEZs would continue till 2020. Infosys is another IT company which is stuck up because of not getting SEZ status here for its first project in the state. When asked, Premji’s son Rishaad Premji, who was also present here today, said “The chief minister referred to a conversation way back.” “Now it is closed issue. We are exploring other means,” he said.
Urging the IT companies to invest here as Bangalore was fully saturated, Banerjee said Kolkata has the scope for growth and opportunity. “In addition to that, the state has skilled manpower… and cheap also. Attrition rate is also very low,” she said. To circumvent the SEZ issue, the state government has decided to give some incentives instead. “Please let me know what you want. We have land bank, infrastructure and talent”, Banerjee said.