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Bengal Chamber push to services

Calcutta, Dec. 9: Samir Ghosh, a former president of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will head a task force on the services sector with special focus on travel and tourism, information technology and retail businesses.

“The task force will act as a bridge between prospective investors in these sectors and various government agencies,” Ghosh said.

Ghosh, who retired as an executive director of ITC in 1989, was author of the tobacco major’s diversification into paper and hotel businesses. As adviser to Manu Chhabbria group’s Shaw Wallace and Dunlop until early nineties, Ghosh pioneered the liquor major’s foray into the hotel business.

After quitting association with the Chhabrias in 1993, Ghosh started his own consultancy business, concentrating primarily on greenfield projects within the country and abroad.

Ghosh said the services sector remained ‘faceless’ in public life, despite accounting for over 50 per cent of gross domestic product and recording a higher growth compared with the manufacturing industry.

He was speaking at a BCCI seminar on “role of services and allied sectors in the resurgence of the east”.

Ghosh said other members of the task force would be drawn from a pool of experts. The task force will chalk out an agenda with a target of five to six years. It will co-ordinate with the governments of Bengal north-eastern states to work out packages for the infrastructure, communications and tourism sectors.

According to ITC chief information officer V. V. R. Babu, the purpose of the seminar on information technology would be to ‘probe’ what has been done so far and what should be done so that Bengal could be in the forefront of the emerging sector.

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