February 8, 2009

Plan to set up car unit at Singur with Chinese co

KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today held initial talks with representative of a Chinese automobile company to explore the possibility of setting up a car manufacturing facility at Singur.

The state government has been planning to set up an automobile manufacturing unit in collaboration with the Chinese company FAW, after Tatas left the state. FAW is one of the biggest manufacturers of truck in China. A senior official later said that it was decided that a team headed by the principal secretary of industry and commerce department would be going to China to finalise the deal with FAW about setting up an unit in Singur. “Whether it will be a manufacturing or assembling unit would be decided later,'' he said.
The state transport department has decided to buy 25 air-conditioned buses from Ural India Ltd to be operated in city routes. “We have decided to purchase 25 low-floor buses from Ural India Ltd and each bus will cost Rs 25 lakh,'' said Mr Subhas Chakraborty, state transport minister. He said that he would also ask the private bus owners to buy these low-floor buses as the state would soon phase out 15-years old buses. Earlier, Mr JK Saraf, chairman, Ural India requested the CM to introduce the buses that are being assembled by it.

Central government neglecting tourism in West Bengal: Minister

KOLKATA: State Tourism Minister Manabendra Mukherjee Friday alleged that the central government is promoting and marketing many tourist destinations but neglecting West Bengal.”The central government is always promoting and marketing Delhi, Agra and Goa as tourist destinations. But West Bengal is always neglected whereas the state capital Kolkata can be called as the eastern gateway of India,” Mukherjee said at a conference on eastern tourism organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

Mukherjee said all special tourism benefits are introduced in other states by the central government.

“The central government introduces all special benefits in other states. For example, there is a special train running between Delhi and Bodhgaya. But not Kolkata. As far as I know, it’s people from South East Asia who majorly visit Bodhgaya. So why not a special train from Kolkata, which is nearer to Bangkok and Indonesia, than Delhi?” Mukherjee said.

“Despite no encouragement from the central government, hundreds of foreigners visit West Bengal every year. And if the centre helps, then this state can become one of the major revenue earners in tourism sector,” Mukherjee said.