IBM India on Tuesday denied a media report that it was going to sack at least 5,000 employees. “This is factually incorrect,” the firm’s spokesperson said in a statement. “We are not going to comment further on rumours and speculation.”

The initial report had quoted an unidentified official as saying, “The process has started. Managers have been asked to identify under performers.” The development comes at a time when reports of major players like Wipro, Cognizant and Tech Mahindra’s plans to carry out large-scale dismissals are doing the rounds.

The Centre, however, has said that Information Technology stakeholders had assured them of not resorting to such drastic moves. The IT sector’s growth rate is pegged at 8%-9%. IT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said there would be some layoffs as part of the routine appraisal process.