New Delhi, Sept. 11: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today said he would speak to the Bengal government to ensure that infotech leaders Infosys and Wipro were given the land they required.
In the wake of the Vedic Village controversy, the Left Front government scrapped a land deal in which the two companies were to be given large plots.
Sources said Mukherjees intervention in a matter that was outside the Centres purview was encouraged by the Prime Minister who wanted to reiterate the Congresss commitment to economic and infrastructure development going beyond political boundaries.
Mukherjee, speaking to reporters today in a question-answer session, called the state governments decision to dump the IT township project in and around Rajarhat unfortunate, saying it might not send the right signal.
If they can invest in Bengal, it will send a good signal. Because the IT industry generates a lot of jobs. Between them, Infosys and Wipro might have generated between five (thousand) and 10,000 good jobs.
Manmohan Singh had shown interest in Bengal IT projects during the time of the previous UPA government, which the Left had supported for all but the last lap. The sources said the Prime Minister would like to meet chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee sometime after the pujas to discuss what can be done to revive the projects.
The Prime Minister had cordial relations with Bhattacharjee in his previous tenure and there is no reason to believe that has changed despite the dramatic switch in allies for the Congress from the Left to Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata will certainly not like Mukherjee, much less the Prime Minister, to do anything that helps Bhattacharjee but she has already had differences with the Congress leadership in government on several issues.