Mamata government 'very positive' to industry: FICCI

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 07, 2012 14:30 hrs

Kolkata, Nov 7 (IANS) Industry lobby FICCI Wednesday said the attitude of the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal, which has drawn flak for its handling of the Haldia port issue, towards industry is "very positive".

But it also said the chief minister needed to communicate with more investors to "improve sentiments".

Emerging from a 45-minute meeting with Banerjee at the state secretariat here, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president R.V. Kanoria termed the talks as "excellent".

Asked to comment on the overall industrial scenario in West Bengal, Kanoria said: "Attitude of the government (towards industry) is very positive. It has clearly stated that it will not support any shutdown in the state, which is a positive thing."

Kanoria, however, urged Banerjee to communicate with more investors to improve the sentiments.

"'Didi' (Banerjee) must improve sentiments by communicating with people more and more and with investors. Then development can take place in West Bengal," he said at a press conference here.

Kanoria said Banerjee needed to realise that for common man's growth, not only cottage and small industries but big industries were also required.

On the issue of land acquisition, Kanoria said: "The chief minister told us that a new land acquisition policy is on the anvil and following that, there will be a solution to the land acquisition problem in Bengal".

He, however, pointed out that land acquisition was a sensitive issue throughout the country.

Kanoria refused to comment on the Haldia issue, where port equipment operator Haldia Bulk Terminals quit alleging poor law and order.

"It is unfortunate that these things happen," Kanoria said.

The FICCI president said the thorny issue of foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail was not discussed.

He, however, said that "it is a misconceived idea that multi-brand retail will displace traders".

During the meeting, FICCI urged Banerjee to constitute a new textile policy since the sector was employment-friendly.

"Maharashtra and Gujarat already have a textile policy. Textile sector in Bengal also requires a policy. It is a large employment generator," said Kanoria.

FICCI president-elect Naina Lal Kidwai, who was also part of the delegation that met Banerjee, said infrastructure issues needed to be addressed for developing the state's tourism sector.

"Small airports, hotels and road connectivity are required for the steady growth of the tourism sector in Bengal," she said.

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