Bengal finance and industries minister Amit Mitra holds a mobile in front of CII national president S. Gopalakrishnan to relay chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s message to industrialists at the national council meeting in Calcutta on Friday. CII director-general Chandrajit Banerjee (right) was also present. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury
Calcutta, Jan. 17: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has confirmed that it will hold a big international event next year in Calcutta to showcase the business potential of the city and the state.
At the CII’s national council meet here today, president Kris Gopalakrishnan announced the plan to hold the event to commemorate 120-years of the trade body.
The Bengal government will be a partner to the event while Sanjiv Goenka, Calcutta’s one of the most well-known corporate face and chairman of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, will spearhead the show as its chairman.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who spoke to the members of the CII over the phone, thanked the chamber for bringing the event to Bengal and said the state would extend all support.
The CII in its original form was set up in Calcutta in 1895 before a shift to Delhi in the 1970s. There will be a series of events next year, and the Calcutta event will be part of them.
Goenka said the month and date would be finalised later in consultation with the state government. “Lots of planning has to be done before we decide on it.”
Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general of the CII, said the international event would be “very big... on the scale of the partnership summit”.
The national council meet took place after more than three years in Calcutta following chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to attend the meet.
However, she had to skip the crucial investor meet at the last minute, much to the dismay of members who came from across the country, as she was busy with the cremation of actress Suchitra Sen.
Amit Mitra, the minister of finance and industries, officiated the meeting in the absence of Mamata.
Mitra, the former secretary-general of CII’s rival trade body Ficci, listed the successes of the government. He assured that there was no scarcity of land in Bengal.
“About 7,170 acres have been recommended under 14Y and 7,737 acres have been cleared and approved. The West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation has allotted 1,651 acres that have been cleared in our own industrial parks,” he said.
Later, Mitra said the meet was a historic one as he gauged the excitement in the minds of the industry representatives present. “I hope they will come in with new projects and generate employment,” he said.
During the session, over 444 acres of land were handed over by the state government to nine companies with a total investment worth of Rs 3,417.46 crore to set up their operations in different industrial parks. This includes a Rs 500-crore cement plant of 2 million tonnes at Raghunathpur, Purulia, by Emami Group.
Also, 28 food processing companies received subsidy cheques amounting to over Rs 531 crore under the technology upgradation scheme of the National Mission for Food Processing.
Bengal IT minister Partha Chatterjee is likely to visit the Infosys campus in Bangalore soon to resolve the deadlock over the IT giant’s proposed campus on a 50-acre plot in Rajarhat.
“The project stays as it is. We did not take up the matter today. But the IT minister said he is willing to discuss that and I will set it up later. He might travel to Bangalore,” said S. Gopalakrishnan, co-founder & executive vice-chairman of Infosys and president, CII. The project has failed to take off because of Mamata’s opposition to SEZs.