On August 11th, the Honorable Minister, Dr. Partha Chatterjee, and his team of officials from the Ministry of Information & Technology, Commerce & Industry and WBIDC hosted an interactive session with members of the IT Industry to hear from them about operational issues that they face. Most of the company representatives from the IT sector spoke about incentive schemes and energy costs, two key considerations for IT companies wanting to set up data infrastructure in the state. Those organizations who had opted for space at the Silicon Valley Hub in New Town requested rebate in electricity bills. Some companies also requested the government to consider lowering the office rentals as most of the office space was not being used due to COVID-19 as their employees were working from home. Some of the companies highlighted their organization’s job growth in the IT sector and suggested that land available should be comparable and competitive as is done in other states. They also suggested that a cable landing station would help the IT sector and encourage investment. There were suggestions that the government support startups, including assisting in the seed money required. The representatives also requested an update on the IT policy and to frame a separate data policy.
The Minister said that all the suggestions would be given to the Chief Minister for her consideration and that individual companies should use their chamber platform for a comprehensive request rather than individual requests. He also said that he and his team would work together with the IT sector to address all issues. Some of the American companies at the session included Cognizant, Genpact and IBM, amongst others. AMCHAM was represented by Ms. Amada Kidwai, Regional Director – Eastern Region.
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