West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra on Thursday said the state government was getting huge response from information technology (IT) firms in terms of occupying spaces in newly developed IT parks across the state. Speaking at the inaugural session of the 15th edition of ‘Technology Senate — The Indian IT Leadership Conclave’, organised by The Express Group here, Mitra said: “Earlier, we had eight IT parks. Twelve new IT parks have been set up. They are getting huge response from the private sector, and some of them are already filled up. All the new IT parks in West Bengal are ready now. Except one in Rajarhat, all of them have been set up outside Kolkata.”
The minister said that the IT parks have been developed mostly in smaller cities, to allow for the creation of more employment opportunities. On the investment the new IT parks could attract, Mitra said: “Investment is not a big deal here, because in IT industry, it is not very big. Square footage (total space occupied by firms) and the number of people employed in the parks are more important. In IT parks at Siliguri, around 700 people are already working. Purulia’s new IT park is getting very good response from IT companies. They must be doing BPO (business procedure outsourcing) there by employing local boys and girls.”
The minister also said the state government was searching for an anchor investor for the development of a data analytics park at Kalyani. On the first day of the three-day Technology Senate, a panel discussion was organised where Mitra, principal secretary of West Bengal’s IT and electronics department, Krishna Gupta; Essar Group CIO Jayantha Prabhu; Stanton Chase India managing partner Amit Agarwal; and ESDS chief innovation officer Anil Chandaliya took part, among others. The discussion was moderated by Editor, Express Computer, Srikanth R P. Mitra said developing entrepreneurship remained a challenge, but added that big IT firms were creating huge job opportunities in the state.
“In addition to 35,000 people employed by TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) in West Bengal, the company will hire around 20,000 additional people for its new campus,” he said. After the panel discussion, IT department secretary Krishna Gupta held a presentation where he spoke about new initiatives in the IT sector taken by the state government.