Partha Chatterjee addresses the industrial gathering in Siliguri on Friday. Picture by Kundan Yolmo
Siliguri, Aug. 30: Industries minister Partha Chatterjee today urged entrepreneurs in north Bengal to invest in the region and avail themselves of a slew of incentives announced by the government.
“The state government is keen on bringing investments to north Bengal. Land is not a constraint for investment here and by launching projects in the region, entrepreneurs can receive several incentives as north Bengal has been put in Category D. The government offers maximum incentives to the projects taken up in places which are in Category D,” he told the North Bengal Conclave, a business meeting organised by the north Bengal zonal council of CII here.
The incentives were mentioned in the industrial policy unveiled by the government in Calcutta yesterday.
At the conference, the participants referred to the pathetic state of roads in north Bengal. Later, while talking to journalists, Chatterjee asked the business community to repair roads as part of the corporate social responsibility.
“Roads under the state government have been repaired and widened. The chief minister has asked the officials of the National Highways Authority of India to restore the roads under their control. I would also like to call upon the business community here to join hands with us and help in repairing and building roads as part of corporate social responsibilities,” said the minister.
“Like they (industrialists) build hospitals and schools, they can develop roads as well. Such practice is prevalent in some of the states in our country,” he added.
Several roads dotting north Bengal have been in bad state for months. Some of such roads are NH31D that stretches from Siliguri to Cooch Behar and the Malda-Dalkhola section of NH34.
The Bagdogra-Panitanti stretch of NH31C and another section of the same highway, from Mongpong to Alipurduar, are also cratered.
Chatterjee told the gathering of over 100 industrialists that the incentives would be available if they augmented production, generated employment, invested in backward regions and took up corporate social responsibilities.
“Entrepreneurs in north Bengal should come forward and set up units which are contemporary and have immense growth potential. Among the contemporary and growth-oriented industries are food processing, jute processing, IT & ITES and tourism. Added to it, corporate groups can also open schools and technical institutions and invest in healthcare and other social sectors.”
The minister said the government was collecting and collating data about unused land vested with it.
“We are trying to find out the total quantity of land which has been provided for industrial development but is lying unused. Once the details are ready, the state would take necessary action.”