Tata Group's investment announcement in Bengal was 'slip of tongue' by CM: CS Dwivedi

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Kolkata, Sep 13 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's announcement about a proposed fresh investment by Tata Group at Raninagar in Jalpaiguri district was just a "slip of the tongue" on her part, state Chief Secretary H.K.Dwivedi has said.

On Monday afternoon, while addressing an event to hand over appointment letters to various beneficiaries under "Utkarsh Bangla," a skill development scheme of the state government, the chief minister said that she is happy that the Tata Group will be investing Rs 600 crore at Japiguri's Raninagar.

However, she did not divulge any further details on this count like the sector where the investment will take place or the time by when the investment will be made. On the other hand, there was neither any confirmation nor denial from Tata Group on this count.

Soon after, speculations started doing rounds prompting Chief Secretary Dwivedi to step in to set the records straight. "The chief minister did not intend to mean Tata Group. Actually, the investment at Jalpaiguri is by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages," the chief secretary explained.

At the same time, the West Bengal state secretariat of Nabanna issued a statement detailing the investment by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages at Raninagar in Jalpaiguri, the virtual inauguration of which was done by the chief minister herself on Monday from Kolkata.

The greenfield vertical unit built over Rs 6.9 acres of land and is meant for manufacturing juice and sparkling soft- drink items, has attracted a total investment of Rs 660 crore.

The unit will employ 100 individuals directly, while another 150 individuals will get indirect employment.

To recall, the Tata Group chairman, Ratan Tata announced the pull-out of Tata Motors' small car, Nano factory from Singur in Hooghly district in West Bengal in October 2008 citing disruptive movement of Trinamool Congress, as the-then principal opposition party against the land acquisition for the project. Gujarat's Sanand became the new destination of the Nano factory.

Since then, fresh investments by Tata Group in the state have just remained an illusion, even after 2011, when the 34-year-old Left Front regime collapsed in the state making way for the entry of Trinamool Congress regime with Mamata Banerjee at the helm.

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