Calcutta, Feb. 5: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has apparently assured traders of compensation for damage suffered during the two-day strike called by trade unions from February 20.
Rabindranath Koley, the secretary of the forum of trade organisations and member of the task force set up to monitor prices of essential commodities, claimed the chief minister gave the assurance during a meeting of the task force at Writers’ Buildings today.
“The strike call cropped up during the meeting. The chief minister asked us to keep our establishments open during the strike. When we expressed our apprehension of violence, the chief minister assured us that the government would give compensation for any damage sustained by shopkeepers who keep their establishments open,” Koley said at a news conference after the meeting.
“The chief minister also assured us that adequate police arrangements would be made in markets,” he added.
Mamata declined comment.
No official confirmed whether Mamata was thinking of compensating the shopkeepers. “I have not heard of any such decision,” a senior minister said.
A minister who attended today’s meeting said the traders had raised the issue and the chief minister had spoken about compensation.
Another minister expressed surprise and asked how such a move would be possible. “How is this going to be carried out? Who will assess the damage?” he asked.