The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Subhas slams CM slogan

Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty has sparked yet another controversy, calling chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s “do it now” mantra “a mere slogan which has failed to improve the state’s work culture”.

Speaking at a workshop organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, the minister launched a scathing attack on the Left Front government, blaming its “philosophical contradictions” for the inadequate private participation in Bengal’s development.

“Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s plea to finish work without delay has become just a slogan,” said Chakraborty, while inaugurating the workshop on private investment in development of roads and bridges. “There is no work culture in the state. Whenever I want to do something, problems crop up from some quarter. The scenario is no different in other parts of eastern India.”

Chakraborty also criticised the Left Front government’s “philosophical contradictions”, which, he said, stood in the way of private participation in the state’s infrastructure development.

“The government wants to reap all the benefits of joint venture projects, but it is not ready to offer anything in return to the private parties,” he said. The minister felt it was necessary for the state to change its outlook towards private partners for a turnaround.

Talking to reporters after the workshop, the minister, however, softened his stance. “There has been a slow change in the state government’s outlook from the early 1990s. There are many problems, but we have to overcome them,” he said, in an obvious bid to take the sting off his earlier comments.

Chakraborty also revealed that a major joint venture project for roads and bridges was being planned by the state government. The project — involving the state government, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers and a British company — will be finalised soon. “We are exploring ways to raise funds for the project,” he stated.

Speaking on the occasion, public works department minister Amar Chowdhury said the state government intended to frame a comprehensive policy on private partnership to boost confidence in prospective investors and streamline the process of participation.

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