West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee set off for New Delhi on Friday to meet industrialists and attract investment to the state. Didi will attend an event organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Saturday. She will also be sharing the dais with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the first time since the TMC and the Congress parted ways.
During her four-day visit to the capital, the TMC chief will be meeting industry leaders on Saturday and Monday before heading back to Kolkata on December 19. Didi will also be armed with a reworked industrial policy which is aimed at resolving the industry’s apprehensions on land. Several corporates have expressed their apprehension over procurement of land in the state. While the TMC-led Government will maintain its hands-off policy on land acquisition, it has brought in attractive options to woo the industrialists.
The new industrial policy has been reworked by TMC MP Saugata Roy taking into account the suggestions given by industry bodies. The new policy will auction land to the highest bidder for commercial projects. Auctioning would be the preferred route in the case of private projects.
However, the final decision, based on certain provisions such as amount of investment and employment opportunities, would rest with the Group of Ministers (GoM). Land price would be fixed by the state government before the auction process.
While government land would be available for a 99-year lease, industrialists can mortgage the lease-hold land with government approval.
Setting the pace for what will be the main aim of her Delhi trip, Mamata said on Friday that West Bengal could lead the nation one day.
“If Bengal is running Bengal today, then Bengal can run India tomorrow,” she said while speaking to corporate honchos in Kolkata on Friday. The meeting was attended by Vijay Mallya, Kumarmangalam Birla, Karan Paul of Apeejay Surrendra group, Sanjiv Goenka and Harsh Neotia as well as Bollywood personalities like Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.
“Regional parties understand better regional and national aspirations. They understand the needs of the people,” she said. Mamata is also likely to meet her party MPs as well as a few MPs who had voted against the UPA-II Government on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail.