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‘Wipro, Microsoft set for major expansion’

A-50 acre plot already allotted; another 100 kept aside for setting up of Silicon Valley, says Didi.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today announced that the state is poised to witness a renaissance in employment very soon as Wipro is set for a major expansion that will lead to an employment of 10,000 people.

Even Microsoft will make entry in the state and will render cooperation in enhancing skills of Bengal weavers.

“The state is set to experience a splurge in employment as IT giant Wipro will expand its existing capacity here. As many as 10,000 youths will get an opportunity for employment. Not to be lagging behind Microsoft too is set to make entry here with an aim to make Bengal weavers a force to reckon with,” Ms Banerjee said at a programme at Nazrul Manch.

Dwelling on the issue further, chief minister said , “A 50 acre plot had already been allotted to them. Another 100 acre had been kept aside for setting up of Silicon Valley. Many big companies had already taken plot to open shop here and many have evinced interest to do business here. So keeping their interest in mind we have decided to allocate another 100 acre for the Silicon Valley with an aim to generate employment.”

As far as Microsoft is concerned, the chief minister claimed that the software giant would mainly work towards creating “e-commerce” platform.

“They will impart training to weavers and share their expertise in enhancing their skills. As a result of which about six lakh weavers will benefit from the venture,” Ms Banerjee said.

Wipro’s first campus, in Salt Lake’s Sector V, is an SEZ. It was set up in 2005, during the Left regime. Erstwhile Left Front government had allotted plot to Wipro in Rajarhat -New Town for setting up their second campus as well. As per the company’s initial proposal, the second campus of Wipro was supposed to have the potential to create around 18,000 additional jobs. Presently, there are around 7,500 people. Wipro had, however, demanded a similar status for the second campus but it has gone against the Trinamul Congress government’s industrial policy as a result of which the company has been sitting on the plot. Instead of SEZ, the state government had offered other benefits to Wipro.

A similar problem was being witnessed by another IT major, Infosys, which too had been allotted plot by the erstwhile state government but could not go ahead with it for failure to get SEZ status.

The state’s tussle with Infosys over SEZ was sorted two years back and it is currently the first company that is availing “other benefits” offered by the state government instead of SEZ. This included all tax benefits for the company. Miss Banerjee had announced that the company has agreed to set up its new office on a 50-acre plot in New Town with an investment of Rs 100 crore and employ around 1,000 people there.