November 13, 2013
WB CM reaches out to industry at CII summit
The Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms. Mamata Banerjee today addressed industrialists during a session at the 4th BIZ BRIDGE, an engineering and manufacturing exhibition, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the state government. This is her first speech at a Business Chamber event as Chief Minister. She reached out to the industry, asking them to invest in the state. The CM also announced the formation of a task force for speeding up pending projects.
Transcript of Chief Minister`s speech at Biz Bridge 2013, Milan Mela, Kolkata:
I welcome you all on behalf of CII. I believe that we all are one big, united family. I convey my festive greeting to all of you, and your families. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to speak at this special plenary session.
It is often difficult to carry out developmental works alone. It requires the collective support from all – someone does the ideation, someone else carries the vision forward; someone performs, others provide the feedback. It is always helpful, creative and constructive.
I believe that a speech is not always helpful. Sometimes the practical experiences at grassroots level are important.
Bengal is trying to do its best. Today I had a meeting with the Industry Minister and the Chief Secretary. Sometimes, industry faces problems, even with the single-window clearance system because of coordination gap. There is more than one department that has stakes in the decision making process, like Land, Environment, Power, Finance and other departments. We have set up a task force today. It is just like an empowerment group. An official will take care of the proposals. The five-member panel will be available at WBIDC for single-window clearances. We have created this task force to look into issues that remain even after clearance by the single-window system. We will soon sort out the problems of the projects pending as of now.
Time management is a huge factor for running a government or a big business. From morning to night I have to do wartime job because I want the Government and the departments speed up their work. Nowadays, industrialists need clearance for land ceiling too. We have a cabinet infrastructural committee meeting every fortnight. I regularly seek updates from them. Some projects are still pending because they want to change the nature of the industry. The onus for the same then shifts to the business houses; please take care of the nitty-gritty in a time bound manner so that projects are not delayed.
In our state, we have formulated new industrial policies, even policies for small scale industries, which is very important nowadays. I am personally taking care of this sector. We are bringing together the small and medium scale industries. We are taking care of land issues as well. We announced procurement policy. In textile industry there is a scope of employment for one million people.
We have enough scopes for investment. For textile, we have earmarked land in Belur. Even in Kharagpur land has been earmarked for manufacturing industry. Land is not at all a problem. In Baruipur 500 acres of land has been earmarked, of which 100 acres will be used to develop a new industrial hub. Then there is Goaltor. In Banarhat in North Bengal we have 180 acres of lands for MSME. In Bolpur, 180 acres of land for MSME is available. We have given tax benefits to aviation industry in North Bengal.
I think that Bengal is the new upcoming investment destination. The potential of the state has not been tested. Bengal was No.1 in engineering during Independence. This sector can be developed again. It will create a lot of employment. In Housing also there is enough potential for investment. There is no shortage of power in West Bengal. We can supply power to other states.
We have an employment bank for skilled labour. I request the industrialists to develop one ITI or polytechnic college for skill development. You can invest in developing a medical hub, educational hub, or tourism hub. Tourism and entertainment are emerging as big investment sectors. You know it better than me. I am a learner and a listener. Bengal is the gateway to Northeast, gateway of Bangladesh, Nepal or Bhutan. You can nurture your business from Kolkata or North Bengal. Geographically, Bengal will suite you.
We do not support bandhs and blockades. The number of mandays lost has drastically come down. Our industrial growth or GDP is more than the national average. We try, we may not be successful at once, but we will try a hundred times to succeed.
Industry and agriculture must work together. We are creating infrastructure for industry in the state. We have all policies made clear for you. Our hands are tightened because of the huge burden of debt we inherited from the previous government. But we have the will and we will overcome all the situations.
I repeat, Bengal is the destination for investment. Please come, invest in the state and be part of the big, happy family.