Bengal seeks energy investment

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By OUR BUREAU
  • Published 12.12.10
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Calcutta, Dec. 11: The Bengal government is in talks with two international players in the renewable energy sector to set up facilities at Panagarh, state industry minister Nirupam Sen said today.

“The government has enough land for industry players. There is 1,500 acres in Panagarh of which 500 acres has been allotted to Matix Fertiliser & Chemicals. We are looking for investors for the rest of the land,” Sen said at an event organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce here today.

Matix Fertiliser & Chemicals, led by Nishant Kanodia of Datamatics Group, has started construction in Panagarh. The company will receive coal bed methane gas from the Raniganj field operated by Essar Oil.

The government is also in possession of land in Purulia, Naihati and Kharagpur, Sen said. “One of the biggest fears of investors in Bengal is that physical possession of land is difficult. Bengal has been successful in providing land to Telcon in Kharagpur and paper equipment manufacturer GapCon in Kalyani. It has also provided land to Tractors India Limited. The government has created a land bank and believes there is enough scope for investment,” he said.

The state industry ministry identified three important sectors in the state that can attract investment.

“Bengal has strength in food processing, service and renewable energy sectors. Investments are welcome in these sectors,” Sen said.

According to the 67th national survey report, Bengal has the largest number of medium and small scale enterprises and also generates highest employment in the sector. The state has also been able to maintain a steady growth rate of 7-8 per cent, Sen said.

On the government’s plans to develop the road to Panagarh, Sen said the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation will hand over land to the National Highway Authority to develop a bypass that will lead to the area.

Amcham India

Nitin Paranjape, CEO of Hindustan Unilever, called for the growth of the manufacturing industry to drive inclusive growth in India.

At a summit organised by the American Chamber of Commerce today, Paranjape said manufacturing would create most jobs when people migrated from agriculture to industry. He sought the government’s help in training people migrating to industry and in building infrastructure.

Roopen Roy, managing director of Deloitte & Touche Consulting India, Ambarish Dasgupta, chairman of Amcham Calcutta and director of PwC, Aniruddha Lahiri, national vice-chairman of Amcham India and president of TCG, and Beth A. Payne, consul-general of the US, were present.