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State Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Wednesday assured businessmen that the Mamata Banerjee government was not anti-industry, but was only trying to strike a balance between industry and people’s rights.
He said there was need for “balance” between inviting and promoting industry while ensuring it doesn’t happen at the cost of the livelihood of the state’s farmers and poor. “Balance is what we present, protecting rights of people and also inviting industry for job creation,” Mitra said at the Annual General Meeting of The Bengal Chamber of Commerce in West Bengal.
The assurance from Mitra comes in the wake of criticism from a section of industrial houses saying that the Singur judgment would trigger a series of anti-land acquisition protests in the state, which would be harmful to the already tottering industrial growth in Bengal.
The minister pointed out that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was protecting the rights of the people on one hand and pushing for industry on the other, as she not only invited the Tatas to invest more but took their representatives with her to Germany as well.
Previously, The Indian Express had reported that the Mamata government was looking to make a fresh start with the Tata Group, which had abandoned plans for a Nano factory in Singur in 2008 after the Trinamool Congress chief had spearheaded protests against it.
Mitra had said that the government was “ready” with an alternative land for the company to set up an industrial hub and thus be compensated for losses incurred. Mitra maintained that the focus would remain on the MSME sector, particularly after the CM’s business trip to Munich, where this particular sector played an important role.
Mamata is scheduled to meet deputy prime minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam at Bangkok in November, the minister said.
“I hope that if everything works right, the Singapore deputy prime minister would attend the state’s annual investment summit,” Mitra said.
He also urged the Bengal Chamber to adopt an ITI and a polytechnic institute and open a GST cell for corporates.