Calcutta, Oct. 1: Mamata Banerjee today renewed her advice to industrialists not to pay extortion money to anybody, offering to keep complainants' identity confidential and promising prompt police action through the minister concerned.
The Telegraph had reported last month how entrepreneurs in Haldia and developers in Rajarhat were being forced to pay off syndicates that also meddled in hiring and the purchase of materials.
No more chanda please. Please inform us if there is any demand for extortion money; convey it to the minister concerned and your identity will be kept secret. Our ministers will make the police take appropriate and prompt action, Mamata said at Writers Buildings this afternoon.
On August 21, in the first such public appeal by a chief minister, Mamata had told industrialists not to pay up if anyone sought money on behalf of her party.
The money does not go to the government or my party. It is pocketed by hooligans, Mamata said today. Whoever is involved in such unfair practices will face action. Rest assured, the law will take its course.
Her remarks came on the sidelines of the launch of a new feature for the website (www.wbidc.com) of the WBIDC, the states nodal agency for industrial development.
Mamata has named the feature, aimed at streamlining the process of application and clearance for new industries, Shilpo Shathi (industry partner).
Once the feature is enabled, soon after Puja, an entrepreneur can apply to the WBIDC through seven forms instead of the existing, cumbersome formality of 93 forms, commerce and industries minister Partha Chatterjee said.
Chatterjee added: The chief minister has also set up a weekly roster for issuing clearances, which will be followed once the process begins.
The WBIDC now takes around 315 days to sanction or reject a proposal to set up an industry. Under the new process, Chatterjee said, it will take no more than 15 days.
Mamata said: The simplification and streamlining will help save a lot of time and unnecessary effort. This will prevent undue harassment of entrepreneurs and encourage them to set up more industries in the state.
She added: I have learnt that there is immense scope for setting up small and medium-scale industries, especially in Bankura, Purulia, Diamond Harbour, Raichak, Budge Budge and Domjur. Industrialists should make the most of the opportunities. I have spoken to the various chambers of commerce about this.
Mamata also stressed on infrastructure development. We must encourage infrastructure development. It is a prerequisite for industry, she said.
There must be better roads. Given the rate of growth of the vehicular load on our roads, we are considering the construction of many flyovers, including some multi-tier ones.