November 6, 2013
Mamata`s bid to bond with Industry
Mamata Banerjee is slated to make her first appearance as the chief minister of Bengal in a chamber of commerce event in the city when she inaugurates a Confederation of Indian Industry-promoted fair focused on manufacturing and engineering next week.
Mamata, who has so far shunned chamber events in her 30-month tenure, will inaugurate the four-day biennial event at the Milan Mela ground on November 13, in keeping with her new-found interest in industrialisation.
“We are positively surprised and happy that she has finally agreed to come to one of our meetings. Definitely, there is a course change, which is for the better,“ a past president of the CII said.
The chief minister has so far addressed only one chamber meet – the annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in Delhi in December last year.
Her government has organised various business interactions, notably annual industry meet Bengal Leads and two closed-door discussions in Delhi and Mumbai, which she attended.
The format of this prestigious event, where owners and chief executive officers of various firms assemble, requires the presence of the chief minister of the state where the event is taking place.
Last year a delegation from FICCI, led by then president R.V. Kanoria, had called on her at the Writers` Buildings.
City-based businessmen are giving a thumbs-up to Mamata`s proposed visit to the CII event.
“She is more confident of her political future than ever before after the resounding victory in panchayat polls. Moreover, the success of the Mumbai meet had a positive impact, too,“ a city-based industrialist said.
That her government is keen to keep businessmen happy was evident when she sent sweets to top city-based CEOs and owners.
Separate packets of sweets were sent, along with chief minister`s personal message, keeping in mind the taste of the Bengali and Marwari communities of the state.
“Generally, we send sweets but this time she sent them to us. It is a pleasant surprise,“ a Calcutta-based business owner said.
The article was originally published in The Telegraph on November 6, 2013.