Strongly advocating industrial peace, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said there was a need to protect industry and create more jobs, even as she continued her attack on Prime Minister Narendra modi on the demonetisation issue.
“We must cooperate with industry. It is important to protect industry. There must exist very good relation between employees and management,” she said while inaugurating a modern battery plant of Exide Industries here.
Blaming the previous Left front regime for loss of mandays, the Chief Minister claimed that there were no mandays lost by the industry during her rule.
Banerjee said, “We are proud to say that no mandays are lost today. It was phenomenal 80 million mandays which were lost in the earlier days.”
Continuing her tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his demonetisation move, she said that in the last two months the industrial sector had passed through a ‘bad’ time.
West Bengal, which was the number one state in MSMEs, was witnessing a turmoil now because of the demonetisation move, she pointed out.
Said said, “Neither the US nor Germany are 100 per cent cashless. In India, 92 per cent of the area are not covered by banks.”
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Indirectly pointing finger at Modi, Banerjee said, “As politicians, we should not harass common people. India has the government of the people, by the people and for the people. There is no place for a dictator. Let us save the country from disaster.”
Banerjee also announced that the government would provide 25 acres of land to Exide for a smelting plant at Haldia.
Exide invested Rs 700 crore for a new plant with collaboration with a US firm to manufacture new age car batteries with longer life.
Exide MD & CEO Gautam Chatterjee told reporters later that the plant would also manufacture this new technology batteries for motorcycles later at an investment of Rs 300 crore.
On impact of demonetisation, he said the motorcycle OEM market had been hit as most of the sales were in the rural country side made through cash.
The passenger car market was not affected alongside the replacement segment.