The West Bengal Finance Minister cited a number of examples.
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Friday wrote to Union Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan alleging that there has been an “ominous pattern of removing headquarters of public service undertaking (PSU) from Kolkata ever since the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power”.
“Ever since your government came to office in Delhi, there is an ominous patter of removing headquarters of PSU from Kolkata which has been here for half a century and even a century.” Dr Mitra wrote in the letter addressed to the Union Minister.
The State’s Finance Minister cited a number of examples including United Bank of India (UBI) to Delhi in 2020 and State Bank of India’s Central Accounts Hub from Kolkata to Mumbai in 2018.
“Corporate office of Hindustan Steel Works Construction Ltd (HSCL) was shifted from Kolkata to Delhi in 2017. Coal India shifted its subsidiary offices along with respective marketing and sales office of their subsidiaries, including those of Eastern Coalfields, Bharat Coking Coal, Central Coalfields, Southeastern Coalfields and Mahanadi Coalfields from Kolkata to cities in other states like Dhanbad, Bilaspur and Sambalpur in 2020,” the letter said.
Dr. Mitra also expressed concern that there are apprehensions that the headquarters of some iconic institutions of central government would be moved out of Kolkata in near future. He referred to apprehension of shifting of headquarters of Tea Board, which has been in Kolkata last 67 years, shifting of headquarters of Damodar Valley Corporation, National Insurance Company and closure of Calcutta Stock Exchange founded in 1908.
Dr. Mitra in his earlier letter to Mr. Pradhan on June 16 had raised objections to dismantling of the Raw Materials Division (RMD) of Steel Authority of India Limited, headquartered in Kolkata. The State’s Finance Minister said that he was surprised that the Union Minister has chosen not to address the question.
“I reiterate that I am keenly awaiting your conformation that RMD, headquartered in Kolkata, will not be dismantled, thereby saving the lives and livelihood of scores of workers. West Bengal and its people must not be deprived in this manner,” he said.