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Mamata Banerjee advocates 'industry peace', slams demonetization

Strongly advocating industrial peace, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee 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 demonetization 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 man dayslost by the industry during her rule.Banerjee said, “We are proud to say that no man daysare lost today. It was phenomenal 80 million man dayswhich were lost in the earlier days.” Continuing her tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his demonetizationmove, 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 demonetization 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.” 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 demonetization, 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.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, without mentioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name, said if someone, after coming to power, thinks himself to be a “dictator”, it is not “good for the country”.

Targetting the Prime Minister on note ban, she said the industrial scenario in the country has worsened in the last two months because of demonetization. “If someone thinks he or she is a dictator after coming to power, it is not good for the country,” the Chief Minister said at a programme here. “I have no individual agenda. I live and work for the people. In a democracy, government is for the people, of the people and by the people,” Banerjee said.

She had described the new Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), named after B R Ambedkar by the Centre, as a lottery app and had slammed the Prime Minister for this. Modi while addressing a rally at Lucknow today asked, “Will politics stoop so low….. we launched Bhim mobile app a couple of days ago and named it after Bhimrao Ambedkar who was an expert in economy…if dealings in the future business is named after Bhim why is it troubling some people.” Hitting back at Banerjee for criticising the new app launched by the Prime Minister, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal had on Saturday said she should think beyond her “own narrow interests.”