It is unfortunate that HBT has decided to withdraw its operations at Haldia. They have made investments in Haldia but now they are facing problem. The high court had directed HBT to start operations but the law and order situation deteriorated. This is a matter of concern and the government should step in to manage law and order.
Although it is a one-off incident, the chamber strongly condemns violence in any form and believes that for industrial development, a harmonious atmosphere of peaceful co-operation is a basic pre-requisite.
Kallol Dutta, president, Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The decision of ABG to release them from the contract obligations based on security threats is shocking for industry. If ABG leaves Haldia, the port is bound to lose business as bigger cargo ships will be heading for other nearby ports. In turn, the growth process of the state is bound to suffer a setback.
Deepak Jalan, president, MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The decision to exit will not have any impact on investment flow in the long run but the state government should also not be delaying the action against those who are taking law and order situation in their hands. The chief minister should set up a transparent fact-finding committee so that no one should have the doubt about the policies of the state government.
D.S. Rawat, secretary- general, Assocham
Although this is a one-off incident involving one particular company, potential investors do take note of such incidents. We are concerned about the developments at Haldia. It is up to the state government to tackle the situation promptly so that investor confidence remains intact.
Rajiv Singh, director-general, Indian Chamber of Commerce
I think such industrial disputes are not happening in Bengal alone, it’s happening in other states as well. But other states have been able to push them aside and bring in more investment. The state needs to manage law and order situation for better industrial environment. Also, it should be ensured that cargo-handling is not impacted.
Ambarish Dasgupta, executive director, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Work at two of the most productive berths at Haldia is now uncertain. By using mechanised berths, the loading and unloading process can be done within a day in comparison to manual handling of cargo that can take three days or more. Further, if ships with cargo are lying idle in the berths, it translates into higher costs that are generally transferred to the importer or exporter. The port authority has to find someone suitable who can undertake mechanised operations.
Captain S.B. Mazumdar, chairperson of the shipping committee of Bengal Chamber of Commerce and executive director of Seashore Ship Agencies
Reporting by Pinak Ghosh