Mamata meets captains of industry, seeks investment for West Bengal
Chief Minister West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has interacted with captains of Indian industry in Kolkata, and urged them to invest in the state without giving any credence to negative publicity in the media.
She met the industrialists in the city on Friday after the exit of Haldia Bulk Terminal from Haldia port.
Banerjee favoured peaceful co-existence of industry and agriculture and appealed to the business leaders to submit proposals to the government.
Industrialist Harsh Neotia said that Banerjee discussed several important issues, including industrial matters, political issues as well as development in the state.
"She did share some of the ideas that she has about development, some of the progress made in the last one and a half years, the peace that has returned to Junglemahal, the accord that was achieved in Darjeeling, various other issues in concern with e -governance, improvement in tax collection and various efforts being made by the government to showcase the opportunities here," he said.
In 2007, Tata Motors, a unit of Indian conglomerate Tata group, made a deal with the Communist government to start rolling out thousands of Nanos -- billed as the world's cheapest car -- from a new state-of-the-art factory complex in Singur.
Land was seized with little compensation and a factory wall suddenly went up, cutting farmers land in two and separating them from key irrigation pumps.
The Nano itself had become a nationalist symbol and a prestigious industrial project. One newspaper compared its launch to walking on the moon.
But when the factory wall went up, some farmers committed suicide, others migrated to the city for jobs. Many more stayed to fight and Banerjee seized on it. Soon roadblocks and street protests forced the Communists to retreat. The factory was never set up and the project moved to Gujarat in 2008.
Neotia said that Banerjee has identified lands and have also invited proposals from industrialists, so they can set up their businesses.
"Well, she said that she has identified the lands that are available with the government and if there are any proposals, she would be happy to consider them on a case to case basis. She also said that if people are having lands on their own, where they want to set up industries, she would give them the clearance, so that they can hold land in excess of sealing," he said.
Banerjee announced formation of a small committee, headed by Sanjiv Goenka, to plead with the Centre for lifting the embargo at Haldia.
Sanjiv Goenka said that Banerjee gave thumbs up to investment in West Bengal.
He considered the state as a good destination for investment.
"She instilled confidence; she gave a very strong signal for industry and investment. I think Bengal is a good destination for investment, I am investing aggressively and will continue to invest," he said.