Industry keen but govt mum on IT SEZs

Kolkata’s industrialists seemed to be disappointed by the state government’s silence on setting up of IT SEZs — if not SEZs — for big industries in its new industrial policy, especially since the central government had last year done away with the clause for a minimum land requirement for IT SEZs.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: May 21, 2013 4:30 am

Kolkata’s industrialists seemed to be disappointed by the state government’s silence on setting up of IT SEZs — if not SEZs — for big industries in its new industrial policy, especially since the central government had last year done away with the clause for a minimum land requirement for IT SEZs.

In the draft industrial policy announced by the chief minister last Saturday,which was posted on the state government’s website,nothing has been said about SEZs or IT SEZs.

Earlier,the minimum size of land required for setting up an IT SEZ was 25 acres but last year the central government scrapped that clause. Earlier this month,at a meeting of the core committee on commerce and industries that was presided over by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,Bharat Chamber of Commerce president Ashok Aikat presented a paper to the chief minister saying that since the land clause was no longer there,the state government should give a green signal to IT SEZs. “The chief minister seemed to be quite positive about the idea,’’ Aikat told The Indian Express.

Aikat said he was still hopeful the government would come out with a positive stand on IT SEZs.

“Earlier the state government’s attitude (towards SEZ) was absolutely negative. Now it has become neutral. And we strongly believe it will turn to positive very shortly,” Aikat said.

He praised the government’s attitude to take every stakeholder on board. “The government has posted the draft policy on its website and it has asked for our opinion. Let me assure you we will be the first people to give the opinion,’’ Aikat further said.

Kallol Dutta,president of Bengal Chamber of Commerce,expressed disappointment. “We understand the term SEZ is an anathema to this government. But it should not bother about nomenclature. We will be happy if the government gives green signals to at least IT SEZs as the land clause had been scrapped,’’ Dutta said.

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