Business was comfortable

Published : Feb 12, 2010 00:00 IST



TARUN DAS, former director-general and now the chief mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industry, says in an e-mail to Frontline:

As a politician Jyoti Basu changed the whole debate about equity for workers. Using novel agitation methods he projected the rights of workers and the duty of employers very effectively.

Later, he turned his attention to economic and industrial development, promotion of investment, and industry playing a much larger role, especially the private sector.

It was his vision to set up Haldia Petrochemicals Limited and to build petrochemicals and chemicals-related industry in West Bengal.

He persuaded the Tata group to invest together with an NRI businessman.

Business became very comfortable with Basu. He reached out to the Confederation of Indian Industry and set up a joint task force with the CII, chaired by the Chief Minister himself and co-chaired by the CII president, to drive investment promotion.

When I became the chairman of Haldia Petrochemicals [Limited] in October 2001, I called on Jyoti Basu at his residence to seek his blessing. He was deeply concerned about HPL and its future. But he encouraged me enormously to strive and to make the company successful.

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