Metro Cash & Carry officials to meet West Bengal minister

September 22nd, 2008 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 22 (IANS) Officials of Metro Cash & Carry, the wholesale division of the Germany-based Metro AG that planned to open an outlet here two years ago, would meet West Bengal’s agricultural minister Tuesday to resolve the stalemate over a fresh licence to start the operation.”The company officials are coming to the city Tuesday to meet me,” Naren De, the minister, told reporters here.

Sources in the company said it had been granted a licence by the state government to trade in Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) commodities in 2005. It was renewed twice in 2006 and 2007, before the authorities unilaterally withdrew it in June 2007.

“The last renewal was valid till March 2008. The company filed for issuance of fresh APMC licence in March 2008 and is still awaiting the same,” said a company source.

De belongs to the Forward Bloc - a prominent partner in the state’s Left front government, which has been strongly opposing the entry of stores by big business houses.

De said the Forward Bloc and Left front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) would hold a bilateral meeting Sep 28 to discuss the issues related to Metro Cash & Carry.

Metro Cash & Carry started setting up the outlet in eastern metropolitan bypass in the city two years back. However, the project got delayed due to land disputes.

After eight months of legal battle, the company finally won permission to resume construction of its first store in the city.

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