Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday cautioned her party workers and the district administration not to ‘harass’ industrialists, warning that disturbing them will hinder employment generation.
“I am asking the district administration and all concerned to cooperate with the industrialists and not disturb them. Remember, industrial peace is absolutely necessary for employment generation and full cooperation should be extended to industrialists so that they can function peacefully,” the chief minister said while addressing the people during the inauguration of a battery making unit of Exide Industries in Haldia, an industrial township in East Midnapore.
Referring to the recent demonetisation of high value notes, the chief minister said that the currency ban has already resulted in job losses for a number of people, especially in the small and medium enterprises segments.
“In such a situation, industrialists setting up new industries and providing avenues for employment generation should be especially thanked and given full cooperation so that they can generate more employment,” the chief minister said.
Significantly, there were quite a few complaints of arm twisting by local level party leaders and workers by entrepreneurs, especially during her first term (2011-2016).
On Monday, the chief minister once again launched a scathing attack against the demonetisation drive and said her movement against such an “anti-people” step will continue.
“This action (demonetisation) has affected the average citizen. I am always in favour of the common people and so my movement against demonetisation drive will continue,” she said.
The chief minister also announced that the state government will quickly handover the additional 25 acres of land to Exide that the company has sought for the expansion of the Haldia plant.
“I have already directed the Haldia Development Authority to hand over the 25 acres to the management at the earliest,” the chief minister said.
Claiming that West Bengal has become a new investment destination, Mamata said that the primary reason why the mood in the industrial sector is buoyant is because of the restoration of peace and order in this sector.
“During the last six years, we have been able to bring down the loss of man days due to strikes to zero. Even the public and workers totally ignored the last two industrial strikes and kept the state moving. All these positive factors have resulted in the restoration of industrial confidence,” the chief minister said.
Speaking on the occasion, she also said that the state government has decided to set up an international convention centre at the popular beach town of Digha.
“Currently, it is in the planning stage and soon we will come out with the details of the project,” the chief minister said.