The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Buddha holds out promise of vitality

Salboni (West Midnapore), Sept. 25: The chief minister today called for closer relations between workers and management and a change of mindset about trade unions.

“We should change our mindset about the trade union movement,” Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said while inaugurating an asbestos manufacturing unit here, about 140 km from Calcutta.

He said the industrial atmosphere was turning around in iron and steel, plastic, agro-based industries and information technology. “We will soon catch up with Bangalore and Hyderabad in infotech. Computer giant IBM has made maximum investment in Bengal,” the chief minister said.

In an attempt to buttress his claim about the changing scenario, Bhattacharjee said investments from Japan were mostly in Bengal. “They (investors from Japan) have informed me that they are happy investing in the state. We will build another bridge over the Hooghly and extend Metro rail services from Rajarhat (on the eastern fringes of Calcutta) to Ramrajatala (in Howrah) with Japanese assistance.”

The chief minister also attended a programme to mark 125 years of Baramohonpur Higher Secondary School, where he urged teachers to “be dutiful”. “Teachers are getting more respect in the Left Front regime than during the Congress rule. Please be dutiful to students,” he added.

Seven lakh children are not attending school in the state and 24 lakh others are dropping out of schools at the secondary level, said Bhattacharjee. “That is why we want to emphasise on the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (education for all). We also want to open newer avenues for those students who have passed Madhyamik by setting up more vocational training centres,” he added.

Inaugurating the planning building of the zilla parishad in Midnapore town, Bhattacharjee underlined the need to decentralise planning and development to the panchayat level.

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