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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Crunch time for commies

Randeep Ramesh writes in Guardian about the reform process in West Bengal. I don't understand the statement about the impact of Metro in Kolkata. The CM's statements mentions that Metro would only cater to 5 Star hotels and restaurants. Wouldn't Metro sell to other wholesalers as well? Is Metro going to sell only food products in Kolkata?

West Bengal's increasingly warm embrace of foreign capital has paid off. The state has just sold 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of agricultural land to an Indonesian group in a $10bn deal for a software park and industrial zone building motorbikes, across the river from Calcutta. The state says investors from Singapore are keen to fund and build a new airport. Last year West Bengal signed a $235m contract with P&O to build India's first private port.

Strikes are banned although trade unions did disrupt IT workers last September with street demonstrations. Buddha was furious. "We are totally discouraging to this type of agitation. It's dogmatic and sectarian," he said.

Mr Bhattacharjee bridles at such claims. "I met with Wal-Mart. They wanted to set up a big shopping mall here in Calcutta but I said that we have farmers, fishermen, consumers and lots of small vegetable markets in the city. All would be out of business if Wal-Mart came in." Instead the state will allow the German company Metro to set up shop to provide wholesale produce to five-star hotels and haute cuisine restaurants. "We are not categorically against retail investment but we need to build up a market mechanism. We have to be selective."


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