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Reliance Retail to exit Bengal?

August 28, 2007 12:18 IST

In view of the recent attacks on its agri retail stores, the Reliance Industries group company on Tuesday said it will go slow on the roll out of Reliance Fresh outlets in the state.

Reliance Retail Limited has also approached West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee with its concerns over the developments.

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"We have communicated to the chief minister regarding the attacks on Reliance Fresh outlets in the city and state," Reliance Industries eastern region head Kalyan Sarangi told PTI.

He said Reliance Retail would go slow on the roll out of Reliance Fresh stores in the state.

Sarangi also corroborated the statement made by Reliance Retail president Raghu Pillai, who had said, "We will open the stores only when we feel there is protection for our people and our property".

RIL's retail business subsidiary had drawn up plans to open 145 groceries stores, processing plants, collection and distribution centres in various parts of the state.

When asked whether the company has sought posting of police personnel at its stores Sarangi said, "We have not asked for that."

Meanwhile, Forward Bloc, which had opposed the entry of Reliance in agri retail marketing in the state welcomed the decision taken by the company.

West Bengal state secretary of Forward Bloc Ashok Ghosh said, "We welcome the decision taken by Reliance and full credit will go to the state's small traders and common people on whose cause we had been agitating."

He said that Reliance has bowed to the pressure of mounting protest and anger. Asked whether it would give a wrong signal to the industry, he said 'no', "rather it would save the poor farmers and small traders from disaster".

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee though declined to make any comment, however, she said we will not allow big corporate houses to enter the retail business because over 100,000 people were engaged in this trade.
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