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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Plan panel to corner Mamata on industry

Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 09, 2013
First Published: 00:12 IST(9/4/2013) | Last Updated: 11:40 IST(9/4/2013)

As West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee arrives in the Capital to take on the Centre over allocation of funds for her state, the Planning Commission is preparing to reprimand Banerjee for failing to draw an industrial plan that would have ensured growth of the economy and job availability in the state.

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The annual plan meet of West Bengal to decide its resource allocation would be held on Tuesday - the first after Trinamool Congress's exit from the UPA in September.

"Bengal's plan proposal fails to put out a vision and policy perspective to infuse momentum in the industrial activity. The state is yet to synchronise its initiatives with the well-defined manufacturing plan of the commission," one official said.   

According to sources, the commission is likely to question Bengal over access of land for industry - a sensitive subject for a government that came to power over land agitation issue.

"Issue of land availability is a major impediment for infusing dynamism in the industrial sector of the state. We would like to know their initiatives to make use of large tracts of land - barren and unsuitable for agriculture - for industrial use."

Sources said that Bengal plan lays a general focus, whereas identification of thrust sectors utilising local potential is what is desired.

"State agencies have to assume a facilitative role to enable entrepreneurs take advantage of government schemes."

The commission also observed that West Bengal is falling back in comparison with other states in attracting the FDI, "despite having good potential of resources."

"Performance-wise, my government is the best among all the Indian states," Banerjee had reportedly said earlier. 

In its plan proposal, West Bengal has listed steps like promoting 15 industrial parks and allowing seven projects to hold land beyond ceiling limit to facilitate projects involving Rs. 42, 000 crore investment and employment of about 30,000 persons.


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