January 6, 2012
Talking Points: Speech by Mr. Partha Chatterjee, Minister of Industries at Bengal Leads 2012 Summit
- I welcome all to Bengal Leads 2012 Summit, the state’s first-of-its-kind investor fair.
- I am really happy to meet the industry fraternity today and hope that our continued interactions would go a long way in repositioning West Bengal as an attractive investment destination. Further to the interactive session with our Hon’ble Chief Minister on June 18, 2011 we formed a Core Committee on Industries. As you are aware we have regular Core Committee meetings where we interact with the industry and this has sensitized us to industry concerns. We interacted again at a get together on October 17, 2011 and I am happy to be amidst you all for the third time today.
- The state government has opened up new vistas of opportunities for those making a beeline to invest in West Bengal.
- Under the able direction of Mamata Banerjee, Hon’ble Chief Minister for creating a hassle free business environment, ‘Shilpa Sangi’ – a single window clearance system to promote the ease of doing business in the state has been launched. From 99 pages 1 consolidated application form has been reduced to 7 pages and time taken for clearance has been reduced from 317 days to 15 days.
- We have also set up two Expert Committees on IT under the Chairmanship of Mr. Sam Pitroda and Infosys founder Shri N R Narayan Murthy with personalities like Shri Kiran Karnik, to create dynamic infrastructure, leverage human resources, promote knowledge centers and simplify investment policy.
- The Commerce & Industries department has received 84 proposals worth Rs. 65409 crores creating an employment potential of 93,634.
- The IT department has received 6 major proposals worth Rs. 1410 crores creating an employment potential of 19,500 and generating an indirect employment of 1,17,000.
- With major players like Infosys, WIPRO, TCS, Cognizant, Accenture, Ericsson, the State is now in discussions with Microsoft and Jaxtr SMS.
- The State Government’s efforts to extend technology to smaller towns has bore fruits and IT Parks are coming up shortly in Siliguri, Durgapur, Kharagpur, Barjora, Bishnupur, Bantala, Rajarhat, Falta.
- In our Vision document published before the Assembly election, we have expressed our desire to go for cluster based development approach particularly in 17 key sectors.
- The major projects in the pipe line are SAIL, GAIL, Indian Railways, Universal Group, Burn Standard, TIL, HPCL, TVS Motors, Hindustan Glass, Reliance cement, DVC, Matix Fertilisers.
- We have also received proposals from Keventers Group, Techno India Group, Fortune Furnitech Pvt Ltd., Duncan Goenka Group,Indo Canadian Papers Ltd.
- We are in the process of developing a Land Bank for industrial growth and have identified 3 lakh acres of land already.
- It is true that up-gradation of infrastructure is of urgent need and issues of connectivity, power, water and logistics are being looked into. New airport at Coochbehar, Asansol-Durgapur, Birbhum, Maldah, Balurghat, are being initiated.
- West Bengal is a land of immense opportunities and State's strength needs to be leveraged and fortified:
i. The state is endowed with vast bio-diversity and has six agro-climatic zones
ii. The state has emerging markets in south east Asian countries- has international frontiers with Bangladesh, Nepal an Bhutan.
iii. Has hinterland of some extremely mineral rich states like Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa.
iv. Has huge reservoir of human capital comprising skilled and technical manpower that can cater to the requirements of traditional industries as well as the needs of the new emerging industries.
v. Low attrition rate, combined with a lower cost base than other major states/ cities.
- There is an urgent need for overall improvement in infrastructure both in rural and urban sectors. We have three pronged action plan for revival of the industrial growth:
i. focus on Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
ii. revival of closed PSUs across the State
iii. inviting large private investment in various sectors
- On social infrastructure our aim is to upgrade the condition of common people and provide them all the basic facilities. We are revamping the healthcare sector with focus on rural healthcare infrastructure. We are open to offer various options in Public Private Partnership in physical and social infrastructure.
- The manufacturing sector with a share of 8% in State Domestic Product observed a growth rate of 5.85% in 2010.
- The State accounts for 60% of total exports of engineering goods from the eastern region of the country and it accounts for 90% of total wagon production in the country. Strong engineering base in the State caters existing and will cater potential automobile industries.
- We have unexplored areas that need to be developed within the State – the sectors are Tourism and Food processing. The food processing industry’s potential is due to diverse & strong agrarian base of the State. Increasing production of horticultural crops leading to rapid growth in food processing industry. Only 3% of agricultural produce is processed compared to USA’s 60% and China’s 23%.
- WB is the largest producer of inland fish in the country and has enough potential to increase fish production by extending utilization of available water bodies for pisciculture.
- There are plenty of tourist sites in the State which can be developed into a perfect tourist hub. We will revive the concept of ‘Tea tourism’, ‘Trans border tourism’ and will turn places such as Sundarbans, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Digha as the ultimate tourist destinations.
- We want to position ourselves as a destination where Governance means transparency, accountability and efficiency and where doing business is an easy and hassle free process.
Before I close, I assure all our business fraternity that each and every proposal that you submit will be treated as per its merit.