Refrain from protests during working hours: Mamata
Kolkata Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, the government is planning to make Shantiniketan a big handicrafts hub. File photo: Sushanta Patronobish

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said her government planned to bring man-days, lost due to bandhs and strikes, down to zero. She noted that industry in Gujarat did not face any problem as there was ‘no politics,’ ‘no protest-rallies and demonstrations’ there.

Ms. Banerjee said processions and rallies can be organised even without calling bandhs and strikes. People should refrain from any kind of protest and demonstration during the working hours. She urged industrialists to contact her by e-mail if they faced any problems in their projects. She has already received some mails.

The Chief Minister, who was inaugurating a ‘West Bengal State Handicrafts Expo 2012-13’ here, said one crore people would be given employment through small and cottage industries.

Emphasising the importance of handicrafts and cottage industries to promote the State’s culture and also generate employment, Ms. Banerjee said she decided to keep the Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textile Department with herself as she wanted it to make significant progress.

Outlets to promote handicrafts and cottage industries would be set up in every subdivision of the State. A shopping-complex would also come up at Santiniketan to promote handicrafts exports. The annual export of handicrafts and products from the small and medium industries was worth Rs. 500 crore. Industrialists should invest in the sector.

In a strong message to Trinamool Congress workers, she said the party does not require “cut money” from industrialists. “Many people try to pass remarks about the party. But one thing I want to make it clear is that the Trinamool is not a greedy party. There is no place for greed here.”

If necessary she would sell her paintings to arrange money for the party to contest elections, she said.

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