The Telegraph
Tuesday , December 3 , 2013
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Mamata and minister Subrata Mukherjee at the meeting on industry on Monday. Picture by Sanjay Chattopadhyaya

Calcutta, Dec. 2: The state government has decided to appoint relationship managers from a task force set up for industry for speedy execution of big projects.

An announcement on the decision was made by chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a meeting of the core committee on industry at Nabanna today.

Bureaucrats of the rank of joint secretary and above will be in the six-member task force whose key responsibility will be to act as an interface between the private investor and the various government departments related to specific projects.

The departments from which the six members would be chosen are industry, land, irrigation, power, environment and water.

Industries minister Partha Chatterjee said the move was aimed at speeding up execution of large projects.

“We are seeing that despite the resolve at the highest level of the administration, work is not getting done. The chief minister today made it clear that no files can get stuck at the lower level of the bureaucracy,” Chatterjee said.

“The relationship manager’s job will be to coordinate between the investor and other members of the task force and also officials of other government departments, if required,” a bureaucrat who was present in the core committee meeting today said.

For three projects — Prasoon Mukherjee’s power and eco hub on Nayachar island, and two coal bed methane projects of Essar and Great Eastern Energy Corporation in the Raniganj-Durgapur-Asansol belt — relationship managers have been appointed.

The appointment of relationship managers for industry is not new in the country. Gujarat and Karnataka have such a set-up.

Kallol Dutta, the president of Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomed the step.

“The chief minister emphasised that work must speed up. The task force and appointment of relationship managers are steps in the right direction,” he said.

Another member of the core committee on industry present at the meeting said the chief minister specifically mentioned three projects for which expression of interest would be sought from private parties. These are a proposed eco-tourism hub at Bamanhati in South Dinajpur, an artisan village at Santiniketan and a textile park in Belur.

While industrialists such as Sanjiv Goenka of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, ITC chairman Y.C. Deveshwar and Gaurav Swarup of Paharpur Industries present at the meeting lauded the steps being taken by the chief minister and her cabinet, a member of the industry spoke of difficulties two of his projects have faced.

He complained that there had been little response from the state government despite several reminders.

Mamata directed the matter to chief secretary Sanjay Mitra.