Bengal to take over Dunlop, Jessop

Bengal to take over Dunlop, Jessop

In a surprise move, the West Bengal government on Friday announced it is in the process of taking over Dunlop and Jessop.

Once thriving entities, both companies have been ailing and closed for years, with their future remaining uncertain. The move is believed to be a sop before the imminent Assembly elections.

Making the announcement on Friday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “We’ve decided to take over Jessop and Dunlop. We’ll take steps in this direction and will also bring a Bill.” Both Dunlop and Jessop belong to Ruia Group of P K Ruia, who tried to reopen the companies but failed. While making the announcement, Mamata cited the example of the Central government decision to take over some ailing tea gardens of Duncan Industries at Dooars in North Bengal.

Similar to Duncan tea estates, Dunlop and Jessop are legacy companies, which were leading manufacturers of tyres and train wagons respectively. The chief minister, however, did not seem to have a clear answer on how she planned to take over the companies when ppposition leader and CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra posed the question. Mishra pointed out that for such a takeover the House will have to pass Bills. Although Mamata said all formalities will be followed, she refused to elaborate.

Questioning the state government’s motives, opposition parties asked whether the government had the time to introduce such Bills given the current Assembly session is coming to an end on February 27. With the date for elections likely to be announced by first week of March, there will be no more House session, they pointed out.

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