In an attempt to attract more investments in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced to launch a new and a comprehensive IT policy in January next year. Speaking at the Bengal Global Business Summit, Banerjee said, “We have decided to announce a new IT policy during the BGBS in January. We want to create more jobs in the IT sector and might even dole out property tax, rental tax reliefs and other subsidies.” She further informed that before chalking out the new policy, the government has had discussions with industry bodies such as ASSOCHAM, CII and Nasscom. Stating that the move is sure to create jobs in the state, she said, “At least 2.6 lakh jobs can be created through IT and we have space for companies to come and set up shop here.”
The new policy announcement is likely to come at the annual investors’ meet which will be held on January 16 and 17. “Our comprehensive and new IT policy will be announced in January,” the Chief Minister said during the inauguration of Infocom 2017, an annual IT conclave organised in the Kolkata. It must be noted that the IT sector, which is one of the fastest growing sectors in West Bengal after food processing, provides employment to over 1.5 lakh people in the state.
Bursting the myth that after Tata’s pulling out of Singur, the state will not see further investments in West Bengal, Banerjee cleared that companies like TCS, Cognizant are expanding in West Bengal and ITC Infotech will soon begin operations in the state. She further stated that the government is also setting up a hardware park at Sonarpur. Going an extra mile to lure investors in the state, Banerjee promised to end red-tapism, give faster clearances, provide property tax waivers, ensure tax breaks, reduce rentals, and better land availability.
She also informed that TCS is going to recruit around 20,000 for its Rajarhat campus while Cognizant is also looking to expand its presence by adding 15,000 to its workforce. The state government has been very proactive in taking steps that could help attract more investment in the IT sector. The state has also set an ambitious aim of doubling its IT exports and has been making striding efforts to develop five potential IT destinations in the state—Durgapur, Siliguri, Kolkata, Kharagpur and Haldia.