Won’t allow Wal-Mart in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee


Mamata Banerjee
 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she would not allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailin the state.”They (union government) allowed FDI in retail, capped subsidised cooking gas and now they will invest pension money in the share market. By doing this, they want to ruin the country. They want to sell the country to foreigners,” Banerjee said at a public meeting in Tamluk in East Midnapore district.”They want to snatch your land and livelihood and set up Wal-mart here. But let me say this: ‘As long as I’m here, we will not allow Walmart to enter’. We cannot and will not allow anything that jeopardises the interest of common people,” Banerjee , the Trinamool Congress chief, said.

She was in district to inaugurate a slew of projects in Haldia.

Banerjee came down heavily on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for the steep hikes in diesel and fertiliser prices and said the government would have to roll back the hikes.

Following the UPA government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, her party had withdrawn support from the ruling coalition last month.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee inaugurated a PET resin plant of Dhunseri Petrochem & Tea Limited, an edible oil plant of JVL Agro and a logistic park of Apeejay Surrendra Group in Haldia.

Dhunseri plans to increase its PET resin production capacity to 4,10,000 tonnes per annum with the second plant, investing Rs.400 crore.

JVL Agro has set up the 1,200 tonnes per day capacity plant, pumping in Rs.165 crore, while investment for the first phase of logistic park of Apeejay Surrendra would be around Rs.100 crore.

Banerjee expressed unhappiness over the union government delaying environmental clearance for eco-tourism project in Nayachar in the district.

She sought immediate clearance for the project. She said the government was also blocking Haldia’s industrial expansion by imposing a ban on industries citing environmental issues.

“Once there was a proposal that there would be a petrochemical hub. Then the objection was there. Now we will be doing eco-tourism. I do not know why they have blocked it. If they do not clear the area for the tourism project, let us go for another area and not wait for anybody,” she told a gathering here.

“I do not want to wait for anybody. If you want to do a job, you do it immediately. We cannot wait,” she said.

Banerjee had opposed the chemical hub for environmental reasons during the previous left Front government. After coming to power in May 2011, she revived Nayachar’s industrial plan, and proposed an eco-tourism project instead of the petrochemical project.

But the eco-project too hit a roadblock with the Ministry of Environment and Forestsseeking certain clarifications from the state government since a thermal power plant was also proposed along with the project.

India -Supreme Court warns it can ban clinical trials


Published: Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012, 8:24 IST
By Rakesh Bhatnagar | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

 

Distressed at the rampant misuse of the practice of clinical trials by negligent doctors and drug companies that have killed 1,954 patients since 2009 in the country, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre and various states governments to reveal the truth behind such gruesome tragedies.

Expressing anguish at the sordid affairs in the private and government hospitals including mental hospitals, a bench of justice RM Lodha and justice AR Dave on Monday also asked Union government to inform about the side effects of these trials and whether the close relatives of victims had been adequately compensated.

During the inconclusive hearing in a PIL filed by an NGO Swasthya Adhikar Manch alleging large scale clinical drug trials across the country by various pharmaceutical firms using Indian citizens as guinea pigs, the court said “we are very serious about this matter’’.

“We can even issue a one-line direction that all these clinical trials which affect many people must stop forthwith. It must suffice, we are very serious about it,” judges told additional solicitor general Siddharth Luthra.

Responding to an earlier direction, the Madhya Pradesh government sought to put the record straight and said charge sheets have been filed against several private and government doctors who had been performing these tests illegally.

It has admitted that both private clinics and government hospitals had been indulging in the tests illegally.

However, it also drew the court’s attention towards Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s statement in parliament confirming deaths of 1,954 persons from 2009 till June 2012 due to “serious adverse events of death” in clinical trials. Azad also told the House that these deaths could be attributed to various reasons and the side effects of the drugs not ruled out.
Seeking blanket ban on clinical trials that were engineered by various pharmaceutical firms from India and abroad, petitioner’s counsel Sanjay Parikh contended that permission for trials were granted by the Central government without consulting the states.
However, MP’s lawyer Dushyant Dave said the states cannot be faulted for the tests.

But the judges pointed out that the clinical trials were conducted in state governments hospitals whose employees and doctors are under the control of the respective state governments.

Judges said there are reports about deaths due to clinical trials saying “one person is dying every day. Human beings are treated as guinea pigs. We do not know personally but we believe a responsible statement is made before the court’’.

In the public interest litigation, Parikh had said over 3,300 patients were used for the tests in Madhya Pradesh.