Bengal offers island to woo Japanese investors

Monday, 23 February 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: While other Indian states are wooing investors with financial sops and tax holidays, West Bengal has offered Japanese investors an entire island in the Bay of Bengal for a residential complex.

Japan is the biggest foreign investor in the state, having set up huge chemical and power plants. More Japanese projects are to come up in West Bengal.

The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation also grants huge loans to the state for developmental activities.

Knowing the Japanese penchant for disciplined and exclusive living, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has told Japanese diplomats that investors from their country could have an island to themselves.

There are about 50 Japanese working in Haldia, where Mitsubishi Corp runs a chemical plant. About 15 km away are more Japanese staying in two settlements and helping build a bridge.

According to diplomatic sources, Bhattacharya said the government would give clearance if Japanese investors wanted to turn the 38 sq km Nayachar island into a township, complete with all modern amenities and golf course.

The island is about 2.5 km off the coast of Haldia in the state's south.

Though the Japanese consulate said they were yet to take a decision, authorities here have begun laying a golf course on the island.

Source: IANS
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