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Monday, September 24, 2012

Provided Mamata is honest enough to lead anti FDI crusade, she should discard her own finance minister Amit Mitra first who was imported from USA and represents industry via FICCI. Because corporate elements, the extra constitutional elements making

Provided Mamata is honest enough to lead anti FDI crusade, she should discard her own finance minister Amit Mitra first who was imported from USA and represents industry via FICCI. Because corporate elements, the extra constitutional elements making policies are most responsible for economic ethnic cleansing. If Mamata is committed to Ma, Mati Manush, she must begin charity at home.

Indian Holocaust My father`s Life and Time, Chapter: Nine Hundred Seven
Palash Biswas

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Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today announced that she would lead a party demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on October 1 to urge the Centre to withdraw "anti-people" decisions on FDI in retail, cap on subsidised LPG and diesel price hike.As the Marxist chose an opportune time to pull of irrespective of consequence while Indo Us nuclear deal was operationalised. Didi almost followed her rivals as economic policies never did lose the direction , only the implementation was in the pipeline.Provided Mamata is honest enough to lead anti FDI crusade, she should discard her own finance minister Amit Mitra first who was imported from USA and represents industry via FICCI. Because corporate elements, the extra constitutional elements making policies are most responsible for economic ethnic cleansing. If Mamata is committed to Ma, Mati Manush, she must begin charity at home.

On the other hand,US ambassador Nancy Powell's meeting with Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, barely a couple of days after the latter quit the UPA government at the Centre, has sparked off speculation within political circles.Times of India reprts.

US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here Monday. Powell called on Banerjee at the West Bengal secretariat and held talks with her for about 40 minutes.

Both Mamata and Powell remained tight lipped over their meeting!

According to sources, Powell was keen to know more of the reservations that Mamata has against Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail in the meeting that lasted nearly 45 minutes.

It was Mamata's opposition to FDI in retail that prompted her decision to quit the UPA. "US companies will be the beneficiaries if FDI is allowed in retail.

There is strong belief that the Manmohan Singh government took the decision to allow FDI in retail under pressure from the US. Mamata's objection to the decision and the subsequent pullout from the government at the Centre, came as a shot in the arm for parties in the opposition like the BJP and the Left.

Powell may have wanted to know the exact issues that has led to this opposition. This would help to develop a strategy through which undue fears within the general population may be allayed," a source revealed. The UPA is also planning to bring the insurance and pension bills in Parliament soon.

US companies are likely to be stakeholders if these bills get passed. With the US realising that any reforms of this kind are likely to face stiff opposition in India, it is likely to formulate a different strategy to try and help the Centre in its attempts to bring about economic reforms. This is not the first time that Powell has met Mamata.

A meeting between the two was convened earlier this year before US secretary of state Hillary Clinton's visit to India. "After that meeting, Powell had heaped praise on Mamata and commended her coming to power in the state.

Even Hillary had met Mamata during her visit to India and discussed the possible areas that can be explored for better economic ties. Mamata and the Trinamool has always held a certain level of importance in US-India policy, particularly after the Left was trounced. The US wouldn't want Mamata to step into the shoes of the Left as the biggest US-baiter in India," the source added.

Meanwhile rating pressure continues to mount up. It is quite impossible for Dr. Manmohan singh and his government to go back reverse gear. You may not delink with US economy under global compulsion which seem to be greater than political compulsion.Global ratings agency Standard & Poor's, which has threatened to downgrade India to junk status, today lowered its 2012 GDP growth forecast for the country to 5.5 per cent citing the weak monsoons and investor sentiments.The lower growth estimate of 5.5 per cent is down by about one percentage point from the earlier one, it said in a note. In the revised estimates published today, the agency has also forecast lower growths for many other countries, including China. Mraket is quite apolitical. it has no sympathy with the common man. since you adopted or supported market economy, you have to to do everything in the interest of the market captured by foreign investment institutions. The rating fluctuate in accordance with foreign capital inflow. Political equations may not change this reality.The politician seem not to care for Aam Aadmi stranded and seized within disaster after disaster because the economy has denied agrarian identity of the nation. Expansion of market is the only destination earmarked. Hence social sector is opened up for government expenditure to pump in cash to empower the rural world with purchasing power. The sustenance of the rural world is linked to agrarian crisis, it is never considered.Service sector and construction happen to be indicators of economy, and indiscriminate urbanisation and industrialisation are the priorities without addressing agrarian crisis or the fundamentals of production system.

Only political anti FDI crusade may not solve the problem at all. Yes, mamata`s next venture may boost her image as prime minister material for her populist tsunami! However the Aaam Aadmi is ensured for another starving season ahead as Country's foodgrains production is projected to decline by 10 per cent in the kharif season of this year at 117.18 million tonnes due to deficient monsoon and drought in some states.However, the government expects to make up for the decline in output during the Rabi season (winter sown crop).

"Let us fight the battle boldly and unitedly. In a democracy, people are supreme. Our voice is the voice of the people. We must raise our voice, so that the government must reconsider," Banerjee said in a post on Facebook.She said, "We all will be present to highlight these issues and request the Central government to withdraw the anti-people decisions."

Banerjee said the party's fight for the cause of common people continued with the help of 'Maa, Mati, Manush' throughout the country.

"I am thankful to all of you for supporting our persistent protest against the unethical decisions on price hike of diesel, restriction of LPG cylinders, increase in fertiliser prices and permission of FDI in retail, which are not in the interest of the common people," she said.She also requested her Facebook fans to tell their friends to join the demonstration at 1:00 PM on the day.

TMC, which has 19 members in the Lok Sabha, withdrew support to the Congress-led UPA government and pulled out its six ministers from the government on September 21 on these issues.

Foreign capital inflow enveloping Indian economy is not a brand new phenomenon. It began with green revolution and had been sustained during Indira and Rajiv regime.Dr. Manmohan Singh worked as a booster only. Moreover, real liberalisation got momentum with resurrection of Hindutva  and the NDA government set the ball running. Mamata  worked as Railway minister in NDA as well as UPA government. She may not disown the responsibility for all that happened during these years.She had been an advocate for private public partnership!

For example, after declining for three consecutive months, foreign direct investment (FDI) in India increased by about 60 per cent to USD 1.76 billion in July. In July 2011, the country had received foreign investment worth USD 1.10 billion. However, according to latest data of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), during April- July 2012 the FDI inflows dipped to USD 6.18 billion from USD 14.6 billion in the same period last year.Mamata and her party witnessed foreign capital boom all these years.


                             Thu, 2011-04-07 23:52 — Maidul
FICCI Secretary General, Amit Mitra has joined the Trinamool Congress and is contesting the 2011 West Bengal Assembly Election from Khardah. He was also appointed as the chairman of Railway Expert Committee by the Trinamool Supremo and India's Railway Minister. This blog features Mitra's politico-ideological inclinations and pose some questions to the Trinamool Congress on these issues. (Attached photo captures Amit Mitra with US Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer, courtsey: Flickr & Google Images).    

Amit Mitra's political training in RSS' student wing ABVP:
"FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra had his early grounding in the BJP-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP) and can call a number of BJP leaders as his friends"
(The Financial Express, 14th May, 2004): Click Here

Q: Why has Trinamool Congress nominated a person like Amit Mitra, who has 'early grounding' in ABVP and is politically close to BJP?

Amit Mitra opposed the agitation against Tata Motors Plant in Singur:
"The Tata project could have brought about a major change in the industrial scenario in the state. This was not a one-off auto project, but would have given a boost to a host of ancillaries as well."
(, 4th October, 2008): Click Here

Q. Has Amit Mitra changed his position vis-à-vis Singur OR has the Trinamool changed its position?

Amit Mitra supports FDI in Retail:
"FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra suggests ushering in retail FDI with a stipulation that large retailers will procure a major part of their supplies locally and work closely with farmers in imparting better knowhow."
(India Today, internet version: 11th April, 2011): Click Here  

"To increase the share of organised retail…Ficci has advocated a multi-pronged strategy that includes relaxing the foreign direct investment norms, grant of industry status to retail, simplification of the tax structure, upgrade of manpower skills and a check on counterfeiting…'Archaic laws and regulations should be done away with' said FICCI president Amit Mitra."
(Business Standard, 23rd April, 2007): Click Here
Q. Why has Trinamool nominated a supporter of FDI in Retail when it stated in its 2009 Lok Sabha Manifesto that it is opposed to the entry of MNCs in retail trade?

Amit Mitra advocates SEZs:
"A few land agitations or a few denotifications sought by a handful of developers cannot and should not detract from the success of the SEZ policy in the country. Besides, while there may be agitations in Bengal or Orissa, there are absolutely no agitations in Tamil Nadu or Gujarat over SEZs."
(The Telegraph, Kolkata; 28th June, 2009): Click Here

Q. Why has an ardent supporter of SEZs been nominated as a candidate of the Trinamool, which claims to be the 'anti-SEZ' party according to its 2009 Lok Sabha Manifesto (p. 33, p. 35)? Has Trinamool now become a pro-SEZ party?

Amit Mitra supports Hire and Fire:
FICCI's position on Labour Reforms: "by flexible labour laws, FICCI did not just mean freedom to hire and fire labour, but also enabling contract labour."
(Business Line, 21st January, 2001): Click Here

"Amit Mitra, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said labour reforms were a must to give a thrust to Indian economy."
(, 10th September, 2001): Click Here  
Q. Why has Trinamool nominated a candidate who wants to push anti-labour changes in labour laws?

Amit Mitra is a Neoliberal Hawk:
A Duke University Newsletter report titled "Mitra Urges Indian Liberalization" reported that he had set up a 'think tank' whose purpose was "to push the government of India to liberalize the Indian economy."
(Economics at Duke Newsletter, Vol. 14, No. 2, Summer 1993): Click Here

Q. Does the Trinamool share Amit Mitra's vision of liberalization and neoliberal reforms?    

Amit Mitra batted for Enron:
"You will be happy to know that I personally went on CNN and condemned the cancellation of the Enron deal" (, 1st November, 1996): Click Here  

Q: Why is Trinamool backing a supporter of a fraud company like Enron?    

Amit Mitra is close to the American establishment:
" 'We know Bush is good for India. But in Kerry's case we would have been hopeful that he would be good for India', says Amit Mitra, secretary-general, FICCI"
(India Today, 15th November, 2004): Click Here

"We have political comfort with the Bush administration."
(, 30th September, 2005): Click Here  

Q. Is Amit Mitra the link between the Trinamool and the US administration?

  1. Mamata's decision to leave UPA-II a 'moral stance': Amit Mitra

  2. Firstpost-19-Sep-2012
  3. West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has justified TMC chief Mamata Banerjee's decision to walk out of the UPA saying it was done to ...
  4. In-Depth: Foreign media on 'maverick' Mamata Banerjee NDTV
  5. Crushing blow to battered finances Times of India
  6. Mamata's Mexican Moment Hindu Business Line
  7. India Today - Mumbai Mirror - Economic Times
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  10. Firstpost

  11. Mamata's integrity is impeccable: Amit Mitra

  13. Trinamool Congress member Amit Mitra on Tuesday lashed out at the UPA saying its integrity was steadily on the decline. Tweet ...

  14. Bengal loses aid package by whisker

  15. Times of India-20-Sep-2012
  16. ... minister Amit Mitra wait till late on Tuesday morning before calling off his scheduled meeting with finance minister P Chidambaram in Delhi.
  17. Centre, Left to blame for Bengal's financial mess: Amit Mitra NDTV
  18. Mamata's pullout may cast shadow on Bengal finance Business Standard
  19. Zee News - The Hindu
  20. all 5 news articles »

  21. West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra to head GoM on Haldia ...

  22. Economic Times-30-Aug-2012
  23. KOLKATA: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has been assigned to head the group of ministers that has been formed to look into the ...
  24. *
  25. Zee News

  26. Sales tax amnesty scheme fails to find takers in Bengal

  27. Hindu Business Line-14-Sep-2012
  28. THE HINDU 'Last chance': Finance Minister Amit Mitra, while presenting the State Budget 2012-13, had said that unregistered dealers would be given a "last ...
  29. *
  30. Hindu Business Line

  31. Bengal's credit-deposit ratio to surpass national average: Mitra

  32. Newstrack India-17-Sep-2012
  33. Bengal's credit-deposit ratio to surpass national average: Mitra ... the all-India average within two years, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra said ...

  34. Mitra to meet PC in delhi, talks on bailout likely

  35. Deccan Chronicle-04-Sep-2012
  36. State finance minister Amit Mitra would hold meetings with Union finance minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Thursday and Friday.
  37. Bengal finance minister to meet Chidambaram on debt bailout Times of India
  38. Mitra to meet PC for funds Daily Pioneer
  39. Hindu Business Line - Oneindia - - indiablooms
  40. all 6 news articles »
  41. *
  42. Oneindia

  43. Shapoorji Pallonji keen to invest in West Bengal, Mitra says

  44. Hindu Business Line-26-Aug-2012
  45. The Mumbai-headquartered group, which is the largest stakeholder in Tata Sons, has in a letter to the State Finance Minister Amit Mitra expressed interest in ...
  46. Shapoorji reiterates mega biz plan in state Times of India
  47. Shapoorji Pallonji keen on investing in W. Bengal The Hindu
  48. Economic Times - Kolkata Newsline -
  49. all 4 news articles »
  50. *
  51. Jagran Post

  52. West Bengal Finance Minister to miss date with Chidambaram

  53. Business Standard-17-Sep-2012
  54. West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra will not attend a meeting with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi tomorrow when ...

  55. West Bengal FM to miss date with Chidambaram

  56. Rediff-17-Sep-2012
  57. West Bengal [ Images ] Finance Minister Amit Mitra will not attend a meeting with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram [ Images ] in New ...

When asked about the reason for increase in FDI in July, an official in the Commerce and Industry Ministry said these numbers are fluctuating in nature.

"But the recent decisions like allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and civil aviation would help in boosting investments in the country," the official added.

The Centre has also allowed foreign airlines to buy 49 per cent stake in the domestic carriers, besides permitting 49 per cent FDI in power exchanges.

It has also increased foreign equity cap to 74 per cent in services like teleports, DTH, Multi System Operators (MSOs) operating at national, state or district level which were involved in digitisation and mobile TV and mobile TV.

Foreign inflows in April, May and June dipped to USD 1.85 billion, USD 1.32 billion and USD 1.24 billion compared to USD 3.12 billion, USD 4.66 billion and USD USD 5.65 billion respectively, in the a year-ago period.

Sectors which received large FDI inflows in the month under review include services, pharmaceuticals, construction and power.

India received maximum FDI from Mauritius, the Netherlands, the UK, Singapore and Cyprus.

The inflows had aggregated to USD 36.50 billion in 2011-12 against USD 19.42 billion in 2010-11 and USD 25.83 billion in 2009-10.

"The lack of monsoon rains has affected India, for which agriculture still forms a substantial part of the economy. Additionally, the more cautious investor sentiment globally has seen potential investors become more critical of India's policy and infrastructure shortcomings," it said.

The lowering of the growth estimate comes even as the government under new Finance Minister P Chidambaram has taken a slew of reform measures and stated its commitment to do more on the reforms front.

The measures, which have run into political controversy, included hike in diesel prices, putting a cap on the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders a family can use, liberalising foreign holding norms in aviation, multi-brand retail, non-news broadcasting and power exchanges sectors, and divesting its stake in five companies.

"At this stage it is still uncertain whether these measures can be implemented," S&P, which had downgraded its outlook on the country's sovereign rating to negative and then threatened to junk it in June failing concrete measures from the Government, had said in reaction to the reform measures.

Foodgrains output stood at 129.94 million tonnes (MT)in last year's Kharif season. The production of rice – a major Kharif crop – is expected to fall to 85.59 MT compared with 91.53 MT in the last Kharif (summer crops).

"As per the first advance estimate, total foodgrains production is expected at 117.18 million tonnes in the kharif season of 2012-13 crop year, lower than the last year but higher than the average production of 113 million tonnes in the last five years," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters here.

"Whatever shortfall we have seen in kharif season will be covered in rabi," the minister said.

Pulses production is estimated at 5.26 MT in Kharif this year against 6.16 MT during the year ago period, he said, adding the production of coarse cereals is estimated to fall to 26.33 MT from 32.26 MT.

Deficiency of monsoon stands at 5 per cent so far. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan have declared drought in over 390 taluks.

Asked if fall in foodgrains output will impact prices, Pawar said: "Last year's stock position of wheat and rice is extremely good. There is no problem. I am worried prices of wheat, atta and sugar are going up in the market. I do not understand the reason because we have good crop".

Pawar said he would speak to the Consumer Affairs Minister on this issue. "More quantity of sugar and wheat need to be released in the market to check prices".

Releasing the first advance estimates of kharif season for 2012-13 crop year (July- une), Pawar said oilseeds output is estimated at 18.78 million tonnes from 20.78 million tonnes in Kharif last year.

"Production of soyabean is encouraging and will offset decline in groundnut," he added.

Cotton production is estimated to fall to 33.4 million bales (of 170 kg each) as against 35.2 million bales during last year, while sugarcane production is pegged at 335.3 million tonnes against 357.6 million tonnes last year.

"This year, we have witnessed delay in onset of monsoon. The first estimates are better than expected. These are preliminary estimates and final estimates will be better than this," Pawar said.

This Times of India story is very interesting!

Bengal loses aid package by whisker
TNN Sep 21, 2012, 02.25AM IST

NEW DELHI: The suspense over what Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee would do after her deadline for a rollback of reform measures expired, saw her finance minister Amit Mitra wait till late on Tuesday morning before calling off his scheduled meeting with finance minister P Chidambaram in Delhi.

Mitra received no word about what he was to do as the hour of his appointment neared. But when he finally conveyed his regrets to Chidambaram, the financial package Mamata had been waiting for so long also went up in smoke. Hours later, on Tuesday evening, the West Bengal chief minister announced her withdrawal of support to the Manmohan Singh government.

Keen to ensure safe passage of its reform initiatives, the Centre had worked hard to frame the package Mamata had demanded so that the diesel price hike, cooking gas subsidy cut and FDI in retail pill could be sweetened. The fiscal lifeline was to be the subject of Mitra's cancelled meeting with Chidambaram.

Mamata's hard line on the Centre's desperate bid to avert a looming downgrade of the economy meant that the package denied to her as long as Pranab Mukherjee - prior to his becoming President - was finance minister, slipped out of grasp just as it was to be delivered.

The slip between the cup and the lip apart, the late hour at which the appointment was cancelled reflects the uncertainty over how Trinamool would respond to Congress refusing to cow down to Mamata's demands. The tensions culminated in a prolonged party discussion that ended in Trinamool snapping ties with UPA.

Speaking in hindsight, political sources admitted that there was an air of inevitability to the events. Mamata would not relent on her populism and the Centre found itself in a dire situation on the economic front. As Chidambaram explained to the Congress leadership, the government had run out of options. But the lack of leeway meant Congress had no room to negotiate, dooming efforts of peace makers.

Q&A: Amit Mitra, Finance Minister, West Bengal
'Left govt's unrestrained borrowing led to the Rs 1.92 lakh-cr debt'
Namrata Acharya / Kolkata Nov 02, 2011, 00:22 IST

It's a little less than six months after Ficci's former secretary-general Amit Mitra took over as the finance minister of West Bengal. Of late, he has got into a war of words with his predecessor, Asim Dasgupta, over nuances of the budget documents. In a telephonic conversation, Mitra explains to Namrata Acharya how the state is reeling under a huge debt, a "legacy" of the Left government. Excerpts:
Asim Dasgupta claims that (chief minister) Mamata Banerjee has presented misleading data to the Centre for garnering more funds. According to him, the state is left with 26 per cent of total revenues as development fund, and not six per cent as represented by Banerjee at the NDC (National Development Council) meeting.
The data Banerjee presented is absolutely correct. See, there are three components to the projected receipts of the state government: a) non-plan grant by the Centre, b) grant for central plans and schemes and c) grant for centrally-sponsored schemes. Now, the problem is, these three grants cannot be used for payment of salaries, pension, interest and repayment of debt. After deducting them, from the total revenue, the state is left with Rs 59,462 crore. Now, if we divide the total expenditure of the state in these, (pension, salaries, interest and repayment), which is Rs 56,031 crore, with the total revenue (Rs 59,462 crore), and multiply by 100, the ratio which come is 94.23 per cent. Thus, the state is left with six per cent of the revenue for other expenditures.
I will also give the break-up of some of the grants given by the Centre. The non-plan grant of 14th Finance Commission is Rs 2,254 crore. This cannot be transferred to local bodies. So, we cannot use that for giving salaries, pension or interest repayment. The second grant is a Rs 240-crore Government of India scheme for centrally-planned projects. This is also a pass-through; it cannot be used for committed expenditure. The third is grant for centrally-sponsored planned scheme; again, it's obviously a pass-through.
How urgent are the central government funds for the state government?
It is crucial. For, if you don't pay pension, it will be a massive problem. How can you deny anyone pension?
When can West Bengal expect funds from the central government?
The CM had earlier written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for funds. Subsequently, after a long discussion, (Union finance minister) Pranab Mukherjee had written back that some amount can be borrowed above the FRBM (fiscal responsibility and budget management) limit. The Left Front government never followed the FRBM Act, while all other states — except Sikkim — had passed it.
This is the cause of a huge build-up of debt. The debt Rs 1.92 lakh crore was built up partly because the state government had no restraint on borrowing. The earlier regime was allowed to borrow any amount it wanted — till July 2010. They were borrowing at a massive rate, for whatever political objectives.
Now the problem is a huge build-up of interest. That needs to be paid. So what Pranab Mukherjee said was that in addition to the FRBM limit, the state could borrow Rs 2,706 crore. Our FRBM limit is Rs 17,028 crore.
However, the problem in borrowing more that the limit is that we have to pay interest on that. The only other resource that the central government had offered that time was backward region grant fund. One cannot use this fund for interest, repayment, salaries or pension. They had offered us Rs 8,750 crore, which was a grant for backward district.
So how is the state going to pay salaries for the next few months?
I am not going to answer that question. We will find ways of doing so, I am confident. Please remember that the earlier finance minister had stopped payment of bills in November last year. Of the Rs 17,828 crore that we can borrow, he (Dasgupta) had borrowed Rs 5,213 crore in one-and-a-half months. Then he left, with uncleared bills of Rs 3,000 crore.
So, if you take that in consideration, he had borrowed Rs 8,213 crore. So now, the state is left to borrow just Rs 9,616 crore over 10 months. It comes to only Rs 961 crore a month. In contrast, if you look at the earlier government, by borrowing Rs 5,213 crore in one month and 20 days, their average comes at Rs 2,600 crore a month.
Dasgupta had been saying that the huge debt of the state is on account of small savings schemes of the government, and its burden should be shared with the central government.
My question is this: who built up small savings? That debt of Rs 1.92 lakh-crore also includes small savings. Why didn't he (Dasgupta) do anything to reduce the burden of small savings? In fact, there is no written document that shows he sought to restructure small savings.
Is the present government doing anything to restructure debt from small savings?
What the CM had asked for was liquidity infusion grant. We have an outgo of Rs 21,000 crore on interest payment and repayment. One cannot have a moratorium on interest payment or repayment to small savers. The only thing you can do is to get a grant from the Centre, so that once the finances are better, the state can manage this aspect on their own.
The huge debt he (Dasgupta) left on the government because, he never passed the FRBM Act and merely borrowed and borrowed. No other state could do this. If I were him, I won't even talk. He has to answer the basic question: didn't you realise that one day you have to pay interest on borrowings?
Dasgupta has also suggested that West Bengal should ask for coal royalty and cess worth Rs 5,000 crore.
Of course, we will ask about coal royalty. We will also ask for it. But we have to go through a process. The Centre will say that no state in the country gets both cess and royalty. If you take only royalty, the quantum will be less. We will always ask.

  1. Mamata to lead party demonstration in Delhi on Oct. 1

  2. The Hindu-5 hours ago
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  10. Economic Times

  11. Cabinet reshuffle: Mamata rivals may get berths

  12. hours ago
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  23. Mamata betrayed us: Subodh Kant Sahay

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  29. Video: Mamata pulls out of UPA, other allies next?NDTV
  30. In-Depth: Mamata's reasoning behind pullout flimsy: Pradip Bhattacharjee Business Standard
  31. Mamata's walkout puts railway projects off track Times of India
  32. Congress quits Mamata Ministry The Hindu
  33. Deccan Herald - Daily News & Analysis
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  37. Once a Goliath-feller, Mamata is no longer David

  38. Firstpost-4 hours ago
  39. So it was with Mamata. Time and again, the David in Mamata felled the more powerful and the larger. First, it was the Goliath in the form of ...
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  41. Firstpost

  42. Regale with retail, Mamata style!

  43. Hindustan Times-9 hours ago
  44. By rendering for Indian politics a performance that entailed singing a parting song, Tirade Maestros-in-Concert (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee ...
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  46. Hindustan Times

  47. Should Mamata's Railway committee members also resign?

  48. hours ago
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  56. Business Standard-23-Sep-2012
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  58. Opposition-ism may not help Mamata any more Northern Voices Online
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  63. Northern Voices Online

Amit Mitra

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Amit Mitra


Minister for Finance & Excise

Government of West Bengal


Assumed office


Preceded by Asim Dasgupta

Member of the Legislative Assembly


Assumed office


Preceded by Asim Dasgupta
Constituency Khardaha

Personal details

Nationality Indian
Political party Trinamool Congress
Spouse(s) Meera Balakrishnan
Alma mater Presidency College
Delhi School of Economics
Duke University
Occupation Economist
Religion Hinduism

Amit Mitra (Bengali: অমিত মিত্র, Hindi: अमित मित्रा) is an Indian economist and politician representing All India Trinamool Congress and the current Finance Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal. He is the incumbent MLA in the West Bengal state assembly from the Khardaha state assembly constituency. Cited as a giant killer in the West Bengal state assembly election, 2011 defeating Asim Dasgupta, the former West Bengal Finance Minister.[1][2][3] Mitra previously served as the Secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).


The son of Hari Mitra, a former Deputy Speaker of the West Bengal legislative assembly and Bela Mitra, his maternal grand-father was Suresh Chandra Bose, elder brother of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Both Suresh Chandra Bose and Haridas Mitra were part of the secret service team of Azad Hind Fauj. Bela Mitra took charge of the secret service of Azad Hind Fauj from Haridas Mitra. Belanagar, a railway station on the Howrah-Bardhaman chord line, is named after her.[4]


Mitra was schooled at Calcutta Boys' School and graduated from Presidency College when it was an affiliate of the University of Calcutta with a degree in Economics. During college life he was one of the best debaters in West Bengal in inter-college debate competitions.[5] Dr. Mitra secured his masters from the Delhi School of Economics and further completed his PhD in 1978 from the prestigious Duke University in the USA.[4][6] Dr. Mitra is also included in Duke University's list of distinguished alumni.[6] Dr. Mitra considers Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Dr. Amartya Sen and K. N. Raj among his teachers.[4]

Early career

He taught at Duke University and Franklin & Marshall College for over a decade before returning to India. He received the prestigious Sears-Roebuck Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, 1990.[7][8]
He joined the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and rose to be its secretary-general.[4] He resigned as secretary-general of FICCI on May 18, 2011 upon his election as state assembly representative. [9] During his tenure, he transformed FICCI into a professional organisation to research and formulate India's policy during its economic liberalisation. The number of conferences organised by FICCI rose from 10 to 500 between 1994 and 2011 and its revenues saw an increase from Rs 3 crore to Rs 110 crore during the period Dr. Mitra presided over its activities.[9]
He served as an Additional Director of Steel Authority of India Ltd from March 25, 2003 to March 24, 2006. At the request of Mamata Banerjee, the railway minister, he headed a panel to draw up business plans for the public-private partnership projects of the railways. He has been on the government's advisory committee on the World Trade Organisation and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council. He was associated with Planning Commission as a member of the expert group on equitable development.[10][11] He has also been appointed a member on the Board of Air India-National Aviation Company of India Ltd. (NACIL). He is also on the Board of IL&FS –CDI, a hundred per cent subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) which is one of India's leading infrastructure development and finance company, Also on the Board of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC).
Dr Mitra was also a Member on the Advisory Board of the India Fund of the Unit Trust of India (UTI), Member, Advisory Board of Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd., a marketing subsidiary of Microsoft in India, Member, Central Listing Authority, established by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Member, Life Insurance Council, Member of the 'Eminent Persons Group' established by the UNCTAD Secretary General on Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs)- 2006, Member, Consultative Group set up by the Inter-State Council Secretariat (ISCS), Member, Committee on Public-Private Partnership in the area of Defence (2004–2005), Member, Advisory Committee on Competition Advocacy for advising Competition Commission of India, Member, Expert Committee to formulate energy Policy by Planning Commission (2005–06), Member of the "India-China Eminent Persons Group" from the Indian side, and Member, Advisory Committee to Union Commerce Minister of India on International Trade (WTO), and Member of the "Indo – EU Roundtable" from the Indian side (initiated by Government of India and the EU). He is a Member of the Joint Study Groups set up between the Governments of India-China, India-Japan, India-Israel, India-Korea & Indo-Russia. He is also represented on various sectoral Committees/Sub-Groups constituted by the National Manufacturing Competitive Council and the Planning Commission, Member of the 'Expert Group on Equitable Development' set up by the Planning Commission for preparing the Eleventh Five Year Plan. He was also Trustee of India Brand Equity Foundation. He was appointed in the two-member committee by the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India for suggesting Alternative Scheme of Collecting Excise Duties.

Political career

Amit Mitra joined All India Trinamool Congress on the invitation of Mamata Banerjee[12] and contested during the state assembly election of 2011 from the Khardaha state assembly constituency. He was attributed a giant killer after the election as he defeated state Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta by a margin of 26,154 votes.[13] Asim Dasgupta was elected from the Khardaha constituency previously five times in a row during the state assembly elections of 1987, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.
Amit Mitra was sworn in as a minister on May 20, 2011 and was given the Finance and Excise portfolio.[14][15]


Amit Mitra is a Padma Shree Award Winner from Government of India in the year 2008 .[16] The Japanese government conferred the `Order of the Rising Sun' on Amit Mitra in 2005 by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. The award was presented for his contribution towards promotion of friendly relations between India and Japan.[17] He is also the recipient of highest civilian Awards conferred by President of the Republic of Italy in 2007.[8]


Amit Mitra has opined that the 'minimal capital expenditure' made over a long period by the state government has led to the state of bankruptcy. He feels that the state's financial condition can be improved with a flow of investments and expansion of the state's existing industrial units.[18]
Dr. Amit Mitra is in the Executive Council of Vivekananda International Foundation, (VIF) is a New Delhi-based think tank set up with the collaborative efforts of India's leading security experts, diplomats, industrialists and philanthropists under the aegis of the Vivekananda Kendra.
The left front scoffed at Amit Mitra as not merely being a candidate contesting on a Trinamool Congress ticket. They reflected, "He represents the real neoliberal face of TMC hidden under the garb of populist demagogy."[19]


* Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Amit Mitra

  1. ^ "Khardaha". Assembly Elections May 2011 Results. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  2. ^ "134 – Khardah Assembly Constituency". Partywise Comparison Since 1977. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  3. ^ "Statistical Reports of Assembly Elections". General Election Results and Statistics. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original on 5 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  4. ^ a b c d Purohit, Devadeep (2011-03-29). "Clash of the economics class In politics, Amit Mitra is in business". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph 29 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  5. ^ records of Presidency College, Calcutta.
  6. ^ a b "Distinguished Alumni". Duke University. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  7. ^ "Business Leadership Awards 2010 Jury Members". NDTV. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  8. ^ a b "Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Office Bearers". FICCI. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  9. ^ a b "Mitra says goodbye to Ficci". The Telegraph, Calcutta, India. 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  10. ^ "Mamata, the business mitra". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph 10 July 2009. 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  11. ^ "Executive Profile:Amit Mitra". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
  12. ^ "FICCI's Amit Mitra joins Trinamool Congress". News One. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  13. ^ "FICCI leader Amit Mitra, Kolkata mayor win". News One. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  14. ^ "Mitra given Finance, Partha commerce/industries". IBN Live. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  15. ^ "The Ministry". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph, 21 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-21.
  16. ^ "Mamata picks Ficci boss Amit Mitra to take on Finance Minister Asim". Express News Service, 15 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  17. ^ "Japanese honour for Amit Mitra". The Hindu Business Line 30 April 2005. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  18. ^ "Amit Mitra's recipe to revive Bengal's economy". rediffbusiness 23 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  19. ^ "Who is Amit Mitra? A fact sheet". Pragoti 7 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
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