West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today played a gracious host to captains of industry with the twin objectives of attracting fresh investment for the state and cultivating a pro-industry image for her government.
"Make investment in West Bengal," the chief minister pleaded with the galaxy of industrialists present as she entered a posh south Kolkata address where the jamboree was held. She later met them separately on the occasion of "Bijoya Sammilani", a post-Durga Puja event.
This was her second interaction with the industry heads since the landslide Assembly election victory in May. She had last met them on June 18 at a formal meeting.
Observers said the get-together would give her another opportunity to shake off an anti-industry perception created after her land acquisition movement at Singur led to Tata Motors shifting the Nano small car factory to Gujarat.
On the question of acquisition of land for industry, she has already indicated that the government’s hands-off stand would not be diluted.
Ignoring demands for a government role in land acquisition, the chief minister said the administration would steer clear of acquiring land for private industry.
Mamata is keen to improve the notorious work culture in the state, a pre-requisite for faster pace of industrialisation. With that end in view, she had recently mooted a proposal for no unnecessary bandhs and strikes.
Her government also formed a core committee with businessmen and industrialists as members which will meet every week.
The big names present included S K Birla, ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar, CESC vice-chairman Sanjiv Goenka, NICCO chairman Rajive Kaul, Haldia Petrochemcials Managing Director Partha Bhattacharya, besides M K Jalan, Purnendu Chatterjee of TCG group, Sanjay Budhia and others.
State Commerce and Industry minister Partha Chatterjee, Power minister Manish Gupta and many members of the state cabinet were also present at the gathering.
Eying Investment, Mamata Plays Host to Industry Heads
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