West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerji, who arrived in Mumbai on Thursday to woo investments to her state, got a cheerful reception from captains of industry who turned up in large numbers to meet her.
From Mukesh Ambani to Anand Mahindra, chairmen of as many as 45 major business groups shoowed up, demonstrated their interest in investing in Bengal and praised Mamata’s business-friendly initiative.
“The fact that you came within 48 hours after winning panchayat elections says you mean business,” said Mukesh Ambani.
Mamata Banerji, on her part, tried to hard-sell the pro-industry measures that her government has taken in the last two years.
“Two years back Bengal lost 78 lakh man hours due to strikes and hartals. It came down to 5000 man hours last year and it is zero this year,” claimed Banerji.
She assured industrialists that the state had created a land bank of 11,000 acres and land would not be an issue for investors.
“They assured me they would invest. They responded heartily,” Banerji told press persons after the closed-door meeting with industrialists. Flanked by her cabinet colleagues Amit Mitra, Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim and chief secretary Sanjay Mitra, she spoke about setting up a financial hub and a ‘World Trade Centre’ in West Bengal.
“We have a new industrial policy, housing policy and textile policy. Every area and opportunity is open,” she said.