How to build a land bank? Ask our IT companies

How do our stinking rich companies pick up vast expanses for land for a song while leaving State governments to face the music from farmers, the Opposition, and other aggrieved parties? By playing one State versus another, and by claiming that other States are offering land for much less. Here’s a good example.

The country’s largest software firm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has just bought 40 acres of land in Rajarhat in West Bengal for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The price it paid to the Bengal government? Rs 1.5 crore per acre.

The price is more than double what Infosys and Wipro were prepared to fork out.

Infosys had offered Rs 50-70 lakh an acre. The firm, which requires 100 acres to set up operations in Bengal, claimed other States were ready to offer land at that price.

For Wipro, which wanted 40 acres, the government initially cut the price to Rs 1.81 crore an acre and then slashed it further to Rs 1.51 crore. But the company wrote back saying it would not pay more than Rs 60-70 lakh.

Read the full story: Pricey for Infy, juicy for Tata

Infographic courtesy The Telegraph, Calcutta