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GAIL Chief meets Mamata over setting up of projects

Special Correspondent

– PHOTO: PTI

West Bengal Industry Minister Partho Chaterjee along with GAIL chief B.C. Tripathi addressing mediapersons at the Writers' Building in Kolkata on Tuesday.

KOLKATA: Gas major GAIL (India) Ltd will submit within this week its expression of interest for setting up projects in West Bengal, its Chairman B. C. Tripathi said here on Tuesday after day-long meetings with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, Finance Minister Amit Mitra and senior government officials.

Addressing reporters at the State Secretariat jointly with Mr. Chatterjee, Mr. Tripathi said: “We are keen to participate in the development of the State and within three to four days we will send a letter stating our expression of interest.” He, however, declined to give details.

Earlier, Mr. Chatterjee said that GAIL is keen to work with the State Government and spent the day having long interactions with the Chief Minister, the Finance Minister, the Power Secretary as well as with the Managing Director of the State's apex industry promotion agency, the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

“For some projects in which they were interested and we asked them what were the bottlenecks that they were facing,” Mr Chatterjee said, adding that GAIL has now been assured of speedy action on any proposal that they submit.

The public sector GAIL now operates in eight verticals – natural gas, liquid hydrocarbons, LPG transmission, petrochemicals, city gas distribution, power, telecom and exploration. It may be mentioned that GAIL had held talks last year for making gas supply arrangements for the State from its HBJ pipeline. However, the projects failed to make much progress as the company was not assured of a client base. For the new government, however, this marks the third visit by a corporate chief since Ms. Banerjee assumed charge as Chief Minister on May 20. The Chairman of NTPC ( which already has projects here) has held discussions on its future power projects. On Monday the Chairman and Managing Director of Larsen and Toubro called on the Chief Minister and expressed keenness to invest in the State.

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