Governments should not harass industrialists: Mamata

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Kolkata, Jan 9 (IANS) Assuring that her government will never harass any industrialist, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called upon governments across the country to give industrialists their space and not bother them in the name of income tax raids.

“When I have the power I cannot go every day for raids, when I am in power, I cannot bulldoze you. We have to ensure there is some flexible system in place for the businessmen. We have to give them the space also,” Banerjee said.

“If everybody is afraid — oh my god the tax people are coming. I appeal to all the governments let the industry run in this manner, let the money flow from them, then the country will be benefited,” said Banerjee.

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The chief minister said her government’s policy was to negotiate with industrialists if there was any issue.

“I can give you assurance that my government will not harass even one single industry (industrialist) where you have any problem. Even if there is any problem, we will negotiate, give you time to sort it out.

“If I bulldoze, that will give a bad name (to you). Because if there is bad name, prestige is lost and when prestige is lost everything is lost,” said Banerjee.

She also suggested hiking CSR contributions by five percent instead of harassing the industrialists.

Banerjee, however, drew a distinction between harassment of industrialists and unearthing of black money.

“Black money is a different issue and harassing an industrialist is something different. If you can collect black money from wherever it is and use them for development, we will be very happy,” the chief minister said.

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But she said industrialists also have to keep the money with them to tackle some unforeseen disastrous situation, as also for the sake of the employees.

The Trinamool Congress supremo, who as an opposition leader earlier spearheaded a sustained and often violent anti-acquisition movement forcing Tata Motors to relocate the Nano manufacturing unit out of Bengal’s Singur to Sanand in Gujarat, also said politicians should not launch a vendetta against industrialists.

“Politically, there should not be any vendetta. Vendetta can spoil everything. We, the politicians, must be broadminded. We will not allow anybody to disturb any of you,” added Banerjee.

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