The Telegraph
Saturday , April 19 , 2014
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Infosys silent on Bengal project

Calcutta, April 18: IT giant Infosys did not mention its proposed campus in Calcutta even as it announced its expansion plan while declaring the results on Tuesday.

The country’s second largest software services company said it had started work on four campuses at Indore, Mohali, Noida and Nagpur.

Moreover, the company plans to add 4,116 seats at the Bhubaneswar centre that will add 5,75,462 square feet of built-up area. The existing campus in Bhubaneswar covers 8,79,721 square feet having 3,974 seats.

However, Infosys chose to remain silent on its project in Rajarhat on the eastern fringe of Calcutta.

The absence of a lease agreement for the 50-acre plot, bought for Rs 75 crore, emphasises the uncertainty surrounding the venture.

The land purchase does not figure in the company’s book of accounts.

The project had clashed with the Trinamul-led government’s stated ideology of not allowing new special economic zones (SEZs) to take shape in the state.

Bangalore-based Infosys had written to the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation in 2012 to seal the lease agreement for the plot. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, however, refused to budge without a complete project plan in place.

“We are still in discussion with the government and do not have any updates to offer,” an Infosys spokesperson said in an email response to The Telegraph.

Kris Gopalakrishnan, cofounder and executive vice- chairman of Infosys, had earlier said his company did not want to be put at a disadvantage to its rivals in the state.

Both Wipro and Cognizant have SEZ operations in Bengal, while TCS is on its way to unveil a new SEZ campus in Rajarhat.

He had also mentioned that a volatile economic environment in recent times was not conducive for investments. Infosys, however, is open to considering SEZ-like benefits for Rajarhat.

IT minister Partha Chatterjee visited the company’s headquarters in Bangalore in 2012 to discuss options and plans to do so again.

“They had cited an uncertain financial environment. We will soon ask them what they want to do,” Chatterjee said today.

New appointment

Infosys has appointed Parvatheesam Kanchinadam as its chief compliance officer and ombudsman to its whistleblower policy.

Kanchinadam, who succeeds Nithyanandan Radhakrishnan, will be responsible for overseeing and managing regulatory compliance at Infosys.

Radhakrishnan is leaving Infosys to become an independent consultant on international legal matters and the IT services major will be his first significant client.