Mitra concerned over NIC HQ moving out of city
Kolkata: Amit Mitra, the state Finance minister, wrote to the Centre stating his apprehension that the headquarters of the National Insurance Company Limited "might now be shifted away from Kolkata".
Stating that the move would be "prejudicial" to the state, Mitra wrote to the Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday.
It may be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government had always protested whenever there were attempts to shift headquarters of any public sector institutions from Kolkata.
On Thursday, Jaitley stated: "It is most unfortunate that public sector institutions which were headquartered in Kolkata, are being shifted elsewhere in the country. This, I believe, is undermining the interests of the people of Bengal and appears prejudicial to our state."
Mentioning that recently there was an attempt to "shift the headquarters of Tea Board and DVC from Kolkata," Mitra maintained in the letter that "after the announcement in the year's Union Budget of the merger of the 3 public sector insurance companies, I am apprehensive that the headquarters of the National Insurance Company Limited might now be shifted away from Kolkata." Besides raising his apprehension, the state Finance minister mentioned about the connection of the country's oldest general insurance company and Bengal, for more than a century.
"As you know that the National Insurance Company Limited, with a turnover of Rs 16,472 crore and assets worth Rs 32,397 crore, is the oldest general insurance company in India, located in Kolkata since its inception. This public sector institution, headquartered in Kolkata, has a heritage of 111 years," he wrote to the Union Finance minister, adding that the company is building a state-of-the-art office in the newly developed Financial Hub at New Town in Kolkata, for its expansion in the city.
In order to make the Union Finance minister aware of the growth and development of Bengal in the financial sector, Mitra also mentioned that "…already 24 banks and financial institutions have taken space for building their offices in the new and upcoming Financial Hub. In fact, the State Bank of India has built its largest centre in this Financial Hub in New Town, Kolkata. In other words, a new ecosystem of finances is emerging in Kolkata, in line with that of Singapore and other global centres."
Stating that "in the positive atmosphere of financial service, any move to shift the company's headquarters from Kolkata will definitely strike a blow to this new financial ecosystem", Mitra wrote: "I therefore, strongly urge you not to move the National Insurance Company Limited headquarters from Kolkata. Such a move will not only hurt the interests of the people of Bengal in particular, but will also hurt the interests of the people of Eastern India at large."