The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Investor policy on the drawing board

Calcutta, May 18: The government has long been talking about the need for private participation to rev up industry in the state, now it has decided on drawing up a “policy” to deal with the companies offering to invest.

A clear-cut policy, it feels, is necessary to define the role of the entrepreneurs.

“A number of private companies have shown interest in different development projects. Many of them have already come up and implemented projects both individually and with the government. We, therefore, felt the need of a specific set of guidelines on their involvement so that neither the government nor the private parties has to face any hurdles in implementing a project,’’ said planning and development minister Nirupam Sen.

Sen said urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya had been entrusted with formulating the new guidelines. “It will comprise specific norms that will be maintained almost in all the cases wherever a private party will be involved in development projects, either individually or in the joint sector.”

Bhattacharya, who has held meetings and workshops with city planners, engineers, consultants and several private entrepreneurs, said the new policy will help the government and private parties implement projects without a hitch.

“We have given a major thrust to infrastructure development, especially construction of roads, flyovers, townships, housings, commercial complexes, industrial estates, improvement of traffic and transportation, building IT infrastructure and protection of environment.

“We have also prepared a perspective plan that will involve a sum of Rs 15,000 crore. Several entrepreneurs have already shown interest and they will be involved in different forms. We are also preparing a methodology on the public-private partnership,’’ said Bhattacharya.

Officials at Writers’ Buildings said the government is going to be more liberal in engaging private parties in infrastructure development projects. The Left Front government, which earlier had reservations in allowing private parties in public work, has now shifted its stance.

“We do not have any objection to private parties getting involved in development projects. We are inviting them,’’ said Bhattacharya.

“We got results by allowing private entrepreneurs in different sectors.They built schools, colleges, engineering colleges, hospitals and housing complexes. Offers are coming for participation in infrastructure and urban development projects. To tackle so many private parties, clear-cut guidelines were essential,’’ said an official.

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