Centre moves to pull away from PCPIR at Haldia

Plans by West Bengal state to turn its port town of Haldia into a Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) seem to be jeopardized by a decision taken at a cabinet meeting with the Centre moving to pull out of the Rs 93,000-crore project, as per livemint.com. West Bengal PCPIR was proposed by the Communist government of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and most approvals had been secured in the final months of UPA-I. The formal agreement between the Centre and the state was signed in October 2009. Under this pact, the state government pledged to invest Rs 48,180 crore while the Centre agreed to put in Rs 2,108 crore. The project entailed a massive physical infrastructure investment of over Rs 18,000 crore to build roads, railways, air links and port connectivity. However, the Trinamool government was disinterested in the project from the start. According to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, the new state government “stopped attending all review meetings”. The decision has its origins in a letter from the Mamata Banerjee government saying, “The Government of West Bengal has decided to develop an industrial park, power plant and an eco-tourism park on the Nayachar Island in Haldia, Purba Medinipur district. The state government will, therefore, not develop the project under the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petroleum Investment Region policy of the Government of India.”
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