At Birla Marriage Anniversary, Mamata talks Business

Monday, 30 April 2012, 04:44 Hrs
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Kolkata: In a bid to send the right signals to the business community, deterred from investing due to the West Bengal government's land and SEZ policies, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee chose industrialist B.K. Birla's 70th marriage anniversary as the perfect platform to interact with them.

Banerjee was seen talking to the Birla patriarch and wife Sarala, and gifted a painting of hers to the anniversary couple. She also exchanged pleasantries with other members of the family including Kumar Mangalam Birla, who heads the Aditya Birla Group.

Observers feel the visit to the Birla ceremony was a right step forward for Banerjee who in spite of continued efforts has failed to woo in any significant investment for the state.

"She has been labeled anti-industry by her detractors which she is desperate to lose. Moreover, she realises that moving ahead without the industry is not possible. This is surely a step further," said an industrialist.

The arrest of AMRI Hospital authorities in connection with a fire tragedy that claimed 94 lives late last year, also did not go down well with the business community who took it as a witch-hunt and dented their confidence in the new regime.

Desperate to do what her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee could not, Banerjee and her ministerial colleagues have been meeting the industries' who's who on regular intervals urging them to invest in the industry starved state.

The Banerjee government has time and again reiterated that land acquisition and SEZ "was not and cannot be part of their policy", something which has been criticised by many including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz who had said that the government's idea of keeping itself away from acquiring land for industries will yield no positive result.

The government anti-SEZ stand has virtually shut the doors on IT giant Infosys which had purchased 50 acres of land for their project in Rajarhat, on the northeastern fringes of the city.

The industry insiders, however, believe Banerjee's visit was a sign of keenness of the government for industrialisation.
Source: IANS
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