MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee meets industry captains with focus on job creation

At a two-hour closed-door meeting with dozens of industry representatives and senior bureaucrats linked with industry at Nabanna , Mamata told administration to clear the decks for projects that required government help and chided officials for not being prompt enough

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 14.06.24, 04:46 AM
Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee File picture

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked the industry captains and bureaucrats to buckle up and create jobs as she prepares to seek a mandate for the fourth consecutive term in less than two years with the Bengal Assembly poll looming in 2026.

At a two-hour closed-door meeting with dozens of industry representatives and senior bureaucrats linked with industry at state secretariat Nabanna on Thursday afternoon, Mamata told the administration to clear the decks for projects that required government help and chided officials for not being prompt enough.

ADVERTISEMENT

She picked food processing, tourism, construction and steel as some of the sectors where there should be renewed focus while also spotlighting the role export can play in creating economic opportunities.

The chief minister also announced that the state would organise a fair ahead of Durga Puja, from September 20, for two weeks to showcase Bengal’s art and handicraft.

The mela will also have its fair share of food items to attract people.

The meeting, which took place within 10 days of the Lok Sabha poll results, however, took many industry veterans off guard. They were strictly told not to speak to the media and asked to switch off the phone during the meeting.

Many in the industry thought that the interaction would kick off in a congenial mood given the state’s ruling party Trinamool, which Mamata heads, has fared better than the previous election in 2019, slaying naysayers. Instead, they were faced with a barrage of verbal volleys.

“We thought she would be happy with the poll outcome. But in fact, she was upset for not doing well enough in some pockets, especially in the urban areas,” said an industrialist on the condition of strict anonymity.

Mamata said Bengal should aim to be self-reliant to carry out its development agenda given that the Modi government in the Centre has withheld funds to Bengal, leaving the state exchequer high and dry.

At least three industry representatives flagged that they have been looking for land to set up projects in food processing, steel and toys, without much progress.

Mamata immediately instructed those concerned in the administration to find suitable land and allocate them, assuring the industry that there was enough land in Bengal under government’s possession to promote industry.

However, she also pleaded helplessness in building big-ticket infrastructure projects. When it was brought to her notice that a flyover may be required
in a district to facilitate trade and commerce, she asked the industry to build it on a public-private-partnership mode
and recover the investment by collecting toll from
users.

“It appeared that the chief minister was concerned about the anti-incumbency which her government may face in the upcoming election, seeing the results in Odisha in particular. She also perhaps realised that unemployment is a big issue, which pulled down the BJP.... Accordingly, Mamata is likely to channelise her energy in creating jobs in the next two years, apart from protecting (Trinamool's) minority and beneficiary vote banks,” said an observer.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT