CSE plans to sort out legal impasse over 10-acre plot

Kolkata, Mar 28 | Updated: Mar 29 2007, 07:18am hrs
The breaking of the legal logjam in the Calcutta Stock Exchange's 10 acres next to the ITC Sonar Bangla Hotel off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass could well be the key to the beleaguered bourse's survival post-demutualisation.

During a meeting between brokers of the exchange and an empowered committee appointed by the exchange, the former demanded that the issue be resolved soon to attract investors and strategic partners, both of whom would each have to pick up a maximum of 5% equity in the CSE to meet demutualisation norms.

The CSE was given a 10-acre plot on 33 years lease by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation way back in 1995 to build a financial service complex with over 2 lakh sqft of commercial space. However, that project did not see the light of day and the municipal authority asked CSE to return the land in 2004.

The CSE then approached the high court and argued that the authorities have refused to do the mutation of the land. While the CSE got a temporary reprieve from the court, the legal tussle continues to linger.

During Wednesday's meet on the CSE premises, the members of the empowered committee represented by power secretary Sunil Mitra, Dipankar Chatterjee of LB Jha & Company and Arindam Guha of Pricewaterhouse Coopers apprised brokers of the progress in the divestment process and invited their suggestions in the matter for successful completion of the demutualisation programme.

Emerging out of the meet, Sunil Maitra said: "The members of the exchange were briefed on the progress of the disinvestment process, which is currently on. The state government will extend all possible help."