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Mamata Banerjee says ‘no’ to Wipro on SEZ

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-07-2017 PTI

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday categorically said that it is difficult for the state government to give special economic zone (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 gathering of the members of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom).

She said that SEZs were approaching the sunset clause, so some other means could be thought of.

In 2016’s Union budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced that tax benefits to SEZs would continue till 2020.

Infosys is another information technology (IT) company which is stuck up because of not getting SEZ status for its first project in the state.

When asked, Premji’s son Rishaad Premji, who was also present at the event, said, “The chief minister referred to a conversation way back.”

“Now it is a closed issue. We are exploring other means,” he said.

Urging the IT companies to invest in Kolkata as Bangalore was fully saturated, Banerjee said the city 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.

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