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Business & Bappi on Mumbai menu

Calcutta, July 30: Mamata Banerjee will on Thursday meet industrialists and artistes on her maiden visit to Mumbai as chief minister as part of the Bengal government’s efforts to scout for investments.

Fresh from the resounding victory in the panchayat polls, Mamata will meet a select group of industrialists, film actors, producers and singers from Mumbai and Calcutta. The chief minister will reach Mumbai tomorrow.

The two-hour meeting, scheduled to begin at 5pm at the World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade, south Mumbai, will also be attended by at least four Bengal ministers, two Trinamul Congress MPs and several departmental secretaries.

Industries minister Partha Chatterjee, finance minister Amit Mitra, urban development minister Firhad Hakim, housing minister Aroop Biswas and Rajya Sabha MPs Derek O’Brien and Srinjoy Bose will accompany the chief minister. Chief secretary Sanjay Mitra, industries secretary C.M. Bachhawat and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation managing director Krishna Gupta will also be present.

The state government will explain its approach on industry to businessmen.

Five top industrialists from Calcutta — ITC chairman Y.C. Deveshwar, RP-Sanjiv Goenka chairman Sanjiv Goenka, Apeejay Surrendra Group chairman Karan Paul, Ambuja Group chairman Harsh Neotia and Patton International managing director Sanjay Budhia — are expected to share their experience of doing business in Bengal.

Sajjan Jindal, who has promised to build a steel plant in Bengal, will also be present at the meeting. Invites have been sent to all top industry houses — Reliance, Essar, Anil Ambani’s ADAG, Tata, Mahindra, Bajaj and a host of bankers.

A senior Trinamul leader said Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan would attend the meeting. SRK is in London today.

“The chief minister will explain the Bengal government’s position on industry during an interactive session on Thursday. Investors in Mumbai are not aware of the situation in Bengal. The chief minister will also announce the clearance of some pending projects,” the leader said. “A cultural event will be organised.”

According to sources, actresses Raima Sen and Riya Sen, singer Indranil Sen and filmmaker Haranath Chakraborty have been invited. So far, two film producers from Calcutta — Shibaji Panja and Mahendra Soni — and music composer Bappi Lahiri from Mumbai are likely to attend.

The meeting will take place at a time the Bengal government is yet to finalise its industry and IT policies.

A section of industry observers said Trinamul’s opposition to land acquisition for industry, SEZ and FDI in multi-brand retail were well-known.

The meeting will be held against the backdrop of drying up investments across the world and deceleration of the India economy.