Shutdown hits IT sector in West Bengal

August 20th, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 20 (IANS) The Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS) sector in West Bengal was severely hit Wednesday following a nation-wide strike called by Leftist trade unions to protest inflation, price rise and other economic policies of the Union government.”The IT sector is affected due to the strike. The percentage of attendance at the state’s IT hub Salt Lake sector-V is very low,” West Bengal IT principal secretary Siddharth told IANS.

He said some companies at Salt Lake IT sector had made some special arrangements to bring their employees to office.

“We have not received the full report so far on the situation in the IT sector. But we also made arrangements like pick up points and escorts for the employees who came to office today (Wednesday),” Siddharth said.

The supporters of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) took out several rallies at the IT hub since early morning. The entire area wore a deserted look as transport kept off the road and the shops were closed down due to the strike.

“The employees of the IT sector, who are considered as intellectual workers, have responded to our strike. They have understood the importance of the issues we raised through this shutdown,” said Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Lok Sabha member Amitava Nandi, who led the rallies at Sector-V.

CITU, a national trade union front of the CPI-M, is one of the biggest assemblies of workers and employees in India.

Nandi said the Left parties had also given instructions to the shut-down supporters not to disturb any employee at the IT sector.

West Bengal is registering a rapid growth in the IT and ITeS sector. According to the reports of the state government, the IT industry is growing at a rate of 71 percent against the national growth rate of 36 percent.

The IT and ITeS sector also generates Rs.32 billion worth of business every year.
At present there are about 44,000 professionals engaged in the IT sector and West Bengal has more than four million sq ft of space occupied by IT and ITeS companies.

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