Industry asks Bengal to focus on SMEs

Tags: News
Within 24 hours of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s rendezvous with business bigwigs in Delhi to attract big-ticket investment, Assocham, a leading industry body, on Tuesday said here that the state should focus on SMEs, in the wake of the chief minister’s reservations over land acquisition and SEZ.

Industrial development in West Bengal should not come to a standstill, given chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s reservations over land acquisition and SEZ. The state should instead focus on promoting and developing small and medium level industries in clusters and industrial estates. That’s what Assocham suggested.

The Assocham expert panel, which has formulated a five-point strategy paper for the state, said if the centre exempts industrial estates (IEs) in West Bengal from minimum alternate tax (MAT) and dividend distribution tax (DDT), industrial estates could actually come up as a practical and attractive alternative to SEZ.

“True, one is faced with great degree of difficulties in land procurement for industrial purposes. The state government is also principally opposed to land acquisition. With so much of fertile land, getting large parcel of land is also a huge problem. But one should not overtly get bogged down with this problem and let the negative perception persist. The state should rather concentrate on developing IEs and industrial clusters, may be in public private partnership, for SMEs,” Sunil Kanoria, vice president, Assocham, said on Tuesday.

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