The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Salim team recce before boss visit

Calcutta, Oct. 22: Senior officials from one of the largest conglomerates in Asia, the Salim Group, arrived at Writers’ Buildings today for a preview of investment opportunities in Bengal before company executive director Beni Santoso meets chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Saturday.

The team from the Indonesia-based group, led by Henry Halim, chief of its China division, met the chief minister and discussed business prospects in the state. It was accompanied by Budiarasa Shinawatara, who was representing PT Chiputra, a large construction company.

“They (the team of officials) will visit parts of the state for the next three days and we will brief you if something concrete emerges,” Bhattacharjee told reporters.

Prasun Mukherjee, the Jakarta-based Calcutta-born industrialist who paved the way for the meeting between Santoso and Bhattacharjee, was present during the interaction, as were urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya and officials of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

“We held a round of discussions relating to construction of a township, food processing, packaging and possibilities of an automobile industry in Bengal,” said Mukherjee.

He said the Salim group is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Southeast Asia and Bhattacharjee is eager to have a two-wheeler factory in the state. He confirmed that Santoso would arrive in Calcutta on Friday night and call on the chief minister the next day.

Sources close to Bhattacharjee’s secretariat said there are strong chances the group will show interest in certain other things, like setting up giant shopping malls and power stations.

“At today’s meeting with the chief minister, participation in construction of townships at Rajarhat, Howrah and Dankuni were discussed,” said an official.

It is believed that the conglomerate is interested in building a township as big as Calcutta for which it is considering an investment of about Rs 10,000 crore.


A four-member fact-finding committee inquiring into the assault on six first-year students of an engineering college at Kolaghat in East Midnapore yesterday have concluded that the boys were ragged. The matter will be taken up with higher education minister Satya Sadhan Chakraborty.

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