Infosys to stay put in Bengaluru, says CM

Infosys to stay put in Bengaluru, says CM

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Thursday said software major Infosys Ltd. would remain in this tech city and the state government would provide required infrastructure for expanding its operations.

"No industry or company, including Infosys, is shifting base from Bengaluru or Karnataka, as we are developing the IT Industry Region (ITIR) in 2,077 acres of land at Devanahalli near the international airport," Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

The chief minister's comment comes three days after Infosys in a regulatory filing Monday said it would surrender the land allotted to it by the state government due to lack of infrastructure and inordinate delay in providing road connectivity.

Refuting media reports that industries and IT services companies like Infosys were moving out due to woeful infrastructure in the state, especially in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said a four-lane road would be built to connect the new IT region to the national highway-7 for better access and prevent gridlocks.

"We will also provide required water and power in the next three months to the region for ensuring global firms like Infosys expand its operations on the city's outskirts," he said.

The $8.3-billion Infosys had planned to set up its second campus in north Bengaluru on a 100-acre land in the ITIR with a 20,000 seating capacity for techies.

Though the state-run Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) allotted 40 acres in 2010, the company sought an additional 60 acres to set up its second software development centre in the city as the region was closer to the airport.

The outsourcing major's main campus, located in Electronics City in Bengaluru south, houses its corporate headquarters and a 26,000-seat capacity facility to develop software (codes) for global clients.

After chairing an hour-long interactive session with industry honchos, including heads of IT services firms like Infosys, a worried chief minister said the state-run HUDCO (Housing and Urban Development Corporation) was ready to extend about Rs.1,000 crore for providing infrastructure facilities in the sprawling ITIR.

"I have urged the prime minister (Narendra Modi) to check unhealthy competition among states in attracting investments," Siddaramaiah said two days after Andhra Pradesh's tech-savvy Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu held a road show to promote his state for fresh investments and employment generation.

Claiming that the state would remain a premier destination for investments in diverse sectors such as manufacturing and IT services, Siddaramaiah said the US-based Honeywell Technology Lab Solutions was setting up its second facility near Bengaluru at a cost of Rs.1,373 crore to provide jobs to about 500 engineers.

"The high-level committee recently cleared the Honeywell investment proposal to set up its second lab on a five-acre land in the city's outskirts," he said.

Siddaramaiah said concessions announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to newly-created states like Seemandhra has created an unhealthy competition and he had asked him not do so.

"I had asked the Prime Minister earlier not to announce concessions because it will create unhealthy competition. I had asked him not do it," he said.

Asked whether concessions were announced since TDP is part of the NDA government, Siddaramaiah said "whether TDP is part of the Centre is immaterial. Even Seemandhra is a part of India. We are living in a federal structure."

Talking about Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) project near Bengaluru International Airport, IT Minister S R Patil said work on it is on fastrack and HUDCO had agreed to lend Rs 1,000 crore for the same.

"There is no problem and the project will be completed in stipulated time," he added.

To a query, he said about 50 to 60 companies have shown interest in setting up their units there.

On Infosys facing problems related to infrastructure in tier two and three cities, Patil said the government has sorted out these problems in today's meeting with top officials of the company.

"Infosys will not have any problems in future. Infosys is our baby. Infosys is proud of Karnataka and we are proud of Infosys," he said.

Asked about pullout of Hero Motocorp Project from Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said the government gave more concessions to the company and "inspite of these things they left, over which we do not have control."

The government has cleared the proposal of Honeywell Technology Lab Solutions Private Limited for expansion plans, Siddaramaiah said.

The company is investing Rs 1,373 crore which will employ 500 employees, he said.

The company has also asked for 5.4 acres of land and the government will give them permission to buy from private people, Siddaramaiah said.
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