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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

WB govt mulls award for Bengal entrepreneurs

HT Correspondent, PTI  Kolkata, July 26, 2013
First Published: 13:24 IST(26/7/2013) | Last Updated: 13:28 IST(26/7/2013)

At a time it is seemingly at pains to draw the cream of the country’s industrial fraternity to the investors’ summit in Mumbai to be hosted by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Bengal government is planning to introduce a Shilpa Sambhavana award for promising entrepreneurs in the state.

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With several top line industrialists not likely to feature at the investors’ summit scheduled for August 1, the state government has lined up a list of 25-30 bureaucrats to be taken to Mumbai to make up the numbers.

The award has assumed ironic undertones, as there is a virtual drought of investments in industry and infrastructure in the present regime.

The possible award, planned by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), is currently awaiting the chief minister’s nod.

Quizzed on the proposed award, state commerce & industries minister Partha Chatterjee said it would be in the form of a certification of appreciation and also hold promise of some relief for entrepreneurs either completing commissioning of promised projects on time or making timely repayment of loans taken from WBIDC.

The Mamata government, said sources, has already drawn up a fat list of state delegates who are to accompany the chief minister for the August 1 meet.

According to sources at Writers’, apart from the industries minister, the delegates for the Mumbai meet would feature finance minister Amit Mitra, urban development minister Firhad Hakim, chief secretary Sanjay Mitra and the principal secretaries of a host of such departments as finance, industry & commerce, information technology, urban development and small & medium enterprises.

Among the other faces in the state delegation would be the managing director, executive director and information officer of WBIDC, the officer- on-special duty in the chief minister’s secretariat and his team of four West Bengal Civil Service (WBCS) officers.

Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha MP and party national spokesman Derek O’ Brien will also be a part of the delegation.

“We can’t be sure if any further name from the state cabinet won’t be added to list of delegates for the Mumbai meet,” said a source at Writers’.

Justifying the presence of bureaucrats, Chatterjee said they prepare notes and are key to making the event a success.

It is learnt while the top names in the national industrial scene have not yet sent a final word on their availability for the meet, even those from the city whose names feature in the reserve list have voiced their inability to attend the event, citing prior engagements.

Quizzed on the kind of message the chief minister is likely to send out to the investor community at the Mumbai meet, Chatterjee refused comments.

Asked who all are likely to address the meet, the minister said, “The chief minister will address the attendees.”

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