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Can't bend rules for Infosys, no SEZ status: Mamata Banerjee

The West Bengal chief minister reiterates that SEZ status would not be granted to the IT bellwether by bending the land policy.

IANS | March 13, 2012 | Updated 13:05 IST

Asserting that Infosys should set up its facility in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday reiterated that SEZ status would not be granted to the IT bellwether by bending the land policy formulated by her government.

"We are creating land banks. We will not do any such thing which goes against the people and the farmers. I want Infosys to come here. But tell me when we have a policy not to set up SEZs, then how can we change the rules for Infosys," Banerjee asked.

"I cannot discriminate. We are ready to give them all help but we cannot allow SEZ. If we allow them then why won't allow others. This discrimination cannot happen. Whosoever it may be, we will not allow SEZ. We will not withdraw the Land Ceiling Act," she said.

Infosys purchased 50 acres of land for the project in Rajarhat, on the northeastern fringes of the city, at a rate of Rs.1.5 crore per acre for the project. The company also made the full payment in October last year.

Recently, it had written a letter to Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) seeking clarification on its SEZ status in the state.

After Banerjee earlier ruled out granting SEZ status to its project, the IT major's representatives had met industry minister Partha Chatterjee and sought an appointment with the chief minister. The company's senior vice-president and global head of commercial and corporate relations Binod Hampapur had then said it was looking for an "alternative solution."

"We are looking forward to a fruitful solution. It will take sometime. Obviously, wherever we operate, that should be financially viable for us. We are looking at that," Hampapur said.

So far, there are four IT SEZs in the state - Wipro, Unitech, DLF and Bantala IT SEZ.

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