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Mamata gives commerce & industry to Amit Mitra, inducts 3 ministers

Calcutta, Dec 26 (PTI): West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday took away the commerce and industry portfolio from Partha Chatterjee and gave it to finance minister Amit Mitra, while also inducting two ministers.

Shashi Panja, who represents Shyampukur in north Kolkata, was inducted into the council of ministers with independent charge of the child and family welfare department. Panja, a physician-turned-politician, is the daughter-in-law of former party leader and union minister Ajit Panja.

Binay Burman, from Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar district, replaced Hiten Burman as the forest minister.

According to the TMC website, Hiten Burman, the Sitalkuchi MLA, had tendered his resignation as minister to Mamata citing health issues and illness.

Swapan Debnath, minister of state for micro and small-scale enterprises and textiles, was given independent charge of the animal husbandry department. Debnath is the party legislator from Burdwan district.

With Thursday’s shuffle, the ministry has 44 members including the chief minister.

Mamata had reviewed the performance of all departments and pulled up non-performing ministers and bureaucrats at a meeting here on December 20.

She had last shuffled the cabinet in November 2012, and taken aboard eight new ministers, including two who had quit the Congress and joined her party.

Governor M K Narayanan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers in Raj Bhavan in the presence of the chief minister and members of her cabinet.

Among others, Sabitri Mitra will head social welfare, and Shyamapada Mukherjee will handle textiles.

Shankar Chakrabarty is now minister of the public works department, and Noor Alam Chowdhury will hold charge of the department of planning.

Becharam Manna, the minister of state for agriculture and agricultural marketing, has been given additional charge of land and land reforms, as minister of state.

Rachpal Singh has been given charge of Ministry of Cooperation.