Mamata ignores, PM Modi intervenes to save Mitsubishi firm in Bengal: Report

Kolkata, Oct 23: The chemical corporation of Mitsubishi, the first foreign company to have invested in Haldia in West Bengal, is undergoing one of its worst phases but the state government has allegedly not shown any interest to guide it out the turmoil. Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation, which was set up in 1997, even approached the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction last year to find a route to recovery but the Mamata Banerjee government did not bother to respond.

According to a report published in Bengali daily Anandabazaar Patrika on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took up the matter himself and asked the shipping ministry led by Nitin Gadkari to intervene and the latter immediately asked the Haldia port authorities to allow Mitsubishi build its own jetty. The port authorities didn't pay heed to the company's request to allow it have its own landing point to rein in the costs, the report said.

Sources said Manish Jain, deputy chairman of Haldia port is scheduled to meet Mitsubishi authorities to discuss the proposal. The shipping ministry has also called a meeting in New Delhi on October 29 to decide on the future of the port, the ABP report said.

But how did PM Modi know about Mitsubishi's plight in Haldia? According to the news report, the matter came up during Modi's visit to Japan in August. Representatives of Mitsubishi told the prime minister about the struggling chemical corporation in Haldia and even alleged that the local government wasn't helping it out and there were talks to shut it down.

Mitsubishi sources said pressure to employ local youth in the company and revise the labour wage caused problems for the management. Recession in global market and the entry tax imposed by the state government were making it worse, according to the report.

PM Modi subsequently took up the matter. He took particular care for maintaining friendly ties with Japan is high on his priority list for a number of reasons (political, diplomatic and of course economic). PM Modi felt that if Mitsubishi faced an unpleasant experience, then it could affect future investment from Japan in India.

The authorities in Haldia are now trying to cooperate with Mitsubishi, the report said.

Oneindia News

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