The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Buddha stage to parade Bengal

Calcutta, Jan. 11: Tata Iron and Steel Company will announce its decision to set up a coke oven plant at Haldia to give Partnership Summit 2005 a big-bang start.

On the first day of the meet, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Ratan Tata will disclose his decision to make the group's first large investment in Bengal in the presence of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

'We have been in talks with the Tatas for some time and it is good news that we have been able to seal it,' said industries and commerce secretary Sabyasachi Sen today.

Tata Steel managing director B. Muthuraman, who is also the chairman of CII eastern region, and N. Srinivasan, the director-general of CII, were present at the summit-eve news conference where Sen made the announcement.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the three-day meet tomorrow. Some 1,300 delegates from 24 countries will attend the meet, billed as the CII's flagship event.

'The objective of the summit is to build partnerships. There will be meetings, debates and seminars and we expect all these will result in something fruitful,' Muthuraman said.

Although the Partnership Summit started in Calcutta in 1995 and was hosted here again two years later, it is coming back to the city after eight years. 'Things have really changed here since,' said Muthuraman.

The Bhattacharjee government has drawn up an extensive plan to woo visiting business and political leaders.

The list includes the who's who of Indian industry and top officials from Britain, the European Union and a business delegation from the US.

'We are very happy that the event is being organised in Calcutta and we will do our best to showcase the strengths of the state. The image of the state has been a problem, but we think things are changing,' said Sen.

Bhattacharjee, along with industries minister Nirupam Sen, will interact with industrialists to explain 'The Sun Rises in the East' on Day II of the event.

'The focus will very much be on opportunities for Bengal,' said Srinivasan.


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