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February 12, 2014

93 MSME entrepreneurs will invest Rs 300 crores in Bengal

93 MSME entrepreneurs will invest Rs 300 crores in Bengal

In what will not only herald a new era of entrepreneurship in the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector in North Bengal but also serve as a unique example to the rest of the country, as many as 93 MSME entrepreneurs will invest Rs 300 crore in diverse units in the region.

This is the outcome of a rigorous exercise by CII North Bengal Zonal Council, the MSSE&T Department of West Bengal and the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA).

The exercise involved a series of one-to-one meetings a joint team of CII North Bengal Zonal Council, the MSSE&T Department and the SJDA had with more than 200 prospective entrepreneurs at Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, Birpara and Islampur where a number of issues such as power tariff, pollution, land and license were raised and resolved.

“Most creditably, all the issues including power tariff and land have been addressed after they were submitted to the state`s MSME secretary. That really encouraged these entrepreneurs to invest and set up units. I am sure more and more entrepreneurs will come forward and invest. I am also confident that the success of this initiative will be a model for others to emulate,” said Mr Goutam Deb, Minister for North Bengal development, while inaugurating the three-day Synergy Siliguri 2014 yesterday in Siliguri.

Later, at a programme held at Town Hall ahead of the state budget, state Finance and Industry Minister Mr Amit Mitra said that the government is looking into several proposals that have been sent by the industrialists.

He added that in 19 states in India, entry tax is charged at a high rate and so right now there will not be any provision for abolition of entry tax in Bengal.

West Bengal recorded 41 per cent growth in tax revenue, he said.  As against tax revenue of Rs 27,000 crore in 2011, to Rs 49,000 crore in 2013-14, he added.

He, however, noted that more than two-thirds of the revenue would be used in repayment of debt.

Mr Mitra attributed the growth in tax revenue in the state to reforms in electronic filing of returns and self-assessment, leading to ease of transactions and better compliance. Elimination of middlemen had also contributed to the growth.

Mr Mitra, however, added that being a debt-stressed state, nearly 69 per cent of its tax revenue, or approximately Rs. 28,000 crore, would be used in repaying loans to the Centre.