75 IT companies owe Rs 8 crore as rent to Odisha government

Bhubaneswar: When the Odisha government had set up the OCAC (Odisha Computer Application Centre) in the state capital to promote IT (Information and Technology), little did they know that it will turn out to be a major headache for them.

The State government had provided office space to IT companies at a subsidised rate after spending Rs 40 crore on the OCAC building.

However, most of the IT companies stopped paying rent after a certain period.

As per sources, a whopping Rs 8 crore is pending till date as rent from as many as 75 companies. Out of them, 33 companies have vacated the office space without paying their rent which amounts to Rs 5 crore.

Among the defaulters, the highest amount of Rs 2.5 crore is pending against Northstar Technology. Similarly, CSM Technologies owes Rs 1 crore while BPS Convergence’s pending dues is to the tune of Rs 35 lakh.

Apart from the pending rent, in last 4 years, Rs 6 crore has been spent on the repair work of OCAC building, informed sources.

Akash Das, CEO of an IT company Pinnacle, said “We had paid advance for 3 months before taking space on rent. Now, we are vacating the place and have informed the OCAC to adjust the amount paid in advance.”

According to Orissa Public Demands Recovery Act, 1962, the rent amount has to be paid on time and if the payment is not done for 3 months, the agreement could be cancelled.

Sources said that the state government has not issued a single notice to any defaulter IT company yet.

On the other hand, IT companies have requested the government to reduce rent on which the latter will take a final decision.

“We are currently in talks with the IT companies who have requested to reduce rent. We are almost on the verge of a final agreement after which they will pay the rent,” Odisha Information and Technology Minister, Chandra Sarathi Behera said.

Social activist Pradeep Pradhan said “These IT companies are not paying rent for years and then vacating the office space. This indicates a flaw in the agreement between the state government and the companies.”