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Reliance Industries wants the state to chalk out a concrete policy before investing

August 04/2011

(Business Standard) -- Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Group has revived its interest in West Bengal, after a hiatus of nearly three years. After the Mamata Banerjee-led government took charge, Ambani spoke at length with West Bengal commerce and industry minister Partha Chatterjee and discussed a range of proposals from food processing and gems & jewellery to refineries and Haldia Petrochemicals.

Reliance Industries (RIL) officials, however, pointed out that unless the state government chalked out a concrete policy, proactively, the company does not see investments in petrochemicals or refining coming through.

There is enough in the project pipeline, an official said on condition of anonymity. An liquefied natural gas terminal in the east coast could be considered, though, he said.

Reliances interest in Bengal is not new. Ever since Haldia Petrochemicals project was conceived during Jyoti Basu's tenure, Reliance had been keen to get involved. Mukesh Ambani had come down to meet former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and industry minister Nirupam Sen in 2006, soon after the Assembly elections. Reliance has small parcels of land for its agri-retail plan, conceived during Buddhadeb Bhattacharjees time. It had announced an investment of Rs 4,000 crore for its agri-retail plan in 2006, but had to put it on the back burner in the wake of hurdles posed by the Forward Bloc, a constituent of the Left Front.

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