West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee addressed the National Executive Meet of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) today.
Good afternoon to all of you. My festive greetings to you all. I am happy to be here at Great Eastern hotel. It is a heritage hotel with small support from the state government.
We have set up a steering committee with my Finance Minister and industrialists like Harsh Neotia. We must work together. I prefer direct interaction with you all. Do not compare Bengal with any other State.
We increased our revenue in the last 3 years. But Centre has been taking away major part of the revenue. We implemented the FRBM system. We inherited a huge debt. We did not have money. We have been deprived of funds. Yet, we are surviving.
Sidharth Birla, President, FICCI speaking
Our performance speaks for us. I respect the media but there is a phenomenon of paid news. Bengal is growing faster than India. Our GSDP is 8.4% while that of India is 4.7%. We are ahead of the national average in terms of growth in agriculture, industry and service sector.
You belong to business houses. You know the growth figures better than us. In excise collection and skill development, Bengal is No. 1. A recent survey showed Kolkata is one of the safest metros.
We launched e-governance measures. Our Kanyashree scheme got global recognition. We have brought transparency in governance. I have held 75 meetings at grassroots in 3 years. We have launched an administrative calendar. We started uniform clearance system. Land is being cleared under Section 14Y.
There is big scope in Bengal. We had 3 ports and now we are building another one. We have identified three new beaches for tourism. We have selected Sagar Islands for ecotourism. We will auction 5 tea gardens. At least 700-1000 acres of land is available there.
WB CM speaking at FICCI national executive meet
A nature park is being set up at the foothills of Himalayas in North Bengal. We are focusing on water transport system. We are also developing 4000 km of State Highways.
We have land banks. We have MSME policy, industry policy, land policy. We have land for heavy industries. Bengal is the gateway to the North East India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. We will issue transport licenses in 15 days.
We are setting up 30 new multi super speciality hospitals. Medical seats have been increased. 8 new medical colleges are coming up. We are giving free beds to poor people at Govt hospitals. We launched fair price medicine stores under PPP mode.
Harsh Neotia delivering the vote of thanks
After our Singapore visit, we have set up a Business Coordination Centre. A new airport is coming up at Andal. We have started helicopter services between districts and Kolkata. We have a power bank. A new centre of excellence is coming up in Bengal. We have cheap labour and skill. Let these be nurtured.
Our motto is work more, talk less. We expect your cooperation and participation for the summit in January. There is a lot of potential in Bengal to be utilized. Treat Bengal like your own state. Number of mandays lost due to bandhs has come down to zero in Bengal.
Our message is that Bengal can be No. 1 and lead.
We invite you to conduct more meets like today in Bengal. Thank you.