Left's withdrawal of support not to impact investment in WB

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Kolkata, Jul 25 (UNI) Assocham President Sajjan Jindal today said Left parties' withdrawal of support to the UPA government would not impact investments in West Bengal.

''The Assocham has set a target to facilitate Rs eight lakh crore worth of fresh investments for West Bengal in the next three years, which will help generate jobs for six lakh skilled and semi-skilled workforce,'' Mr Jindal told a news conference, his first after assuming office last month.

''West Bengal has its own mechanism to attract investors.

Therefore, Left parties' latest action to sever ties with the UPA government at the Centre will not turn away investors,'' Mr Jindal, one of the major investors in the state, said.

He said though the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) had set a target of Rs 100,000 crore worth of investment for the state for 2007-08, the target far exceeded Rs 300,000 crore, much more than in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Mr Jindal said for Assocham West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana would remain the main focus states for the next three years.

He said Assocham would continue to focus on steel, oil,automobile, power, renewable energy, textile, cement, IT, telecom, real estates and SSI hub in view of their potential factor in West Bengal. He pointed out that the rich mineral based steel sector attracted whopping investment announcements to the tune of about Rs 57,000 crore in the last 12 months.

Mr Jindal, also the vice-chairman and managing director of Jindal Steel Works and one of the major investors, said the industrial climate in West Bengal, under Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, was "absolutely positive and encouraging" for investors.

Commenting on stray incidences of violence and resentment that erupted in West Bengal against sectoral industrial development, Mr Jindal said such cases do happen when development takes place and have temporary impact. But ultimately development gets preference.

Mr Jindal, whose company's land acquiring policy at Jhargram in West Bengal was lauded by all quarters prompting Jharkhand to take up the model, favoured a transparent land acquisition policy.

He suggested that those from whom land was acquired must get adequate compensation, job and social security.

He said the land oustees in the process of industrial transportation should be made stakeholders to such processes so that responsibilities are assigned on them to become its integral part.

Mr Jindal said Assocham had engaged an internationally reputed agency to undertake study of the state to identify newer areas for fresh investments and organise road shows in India and abroad to lure industrialists.

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