Bengal Global Business Summit 2016 begins today

The Bengal Global Business Summit 2016, West Bengal government’s annual investors’ summit will be inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister today at 11 AM at the Milan Mela Prangan in Kolkata.

Honourable Prime Minister of Bhutan, UK Labour Minister Priti Patel, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, delegates from Japan, UK, US, Italy and 45 nations will be present on the occasion.

Japan is this year’s Partner Country.

Union Minister for Finance, Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of State for Coal, Power and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister for Railways, Suresh Prabhu, are expected to be present on the occasion.

Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries is expected to join this year’s event.

N Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Jyotsna Suri, chairperson of Bharat Hotels, Swati Piramal, vice-chairperson, Piramal Enterprises, Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder, Hiranandani group, and Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej Group are expected to be present as well.

According to the programme plan, there will be Plenary Sessions, addressed by national and international entrepreneurs of stature, who will share their thoughts and experiences, There shall be Sectoral Breakaway Sessions, with participation from leading industrialists of each sector

Also the summit will witness Business-to-business (B2B) and government-to-business (G2B) interactions along with opportunities for expositions and exhibitions.

Last year, Bengal Global Business Summit got West Bengal government proposals worth Rs 2.4 lakh crore.

Rajya Sabha: Trinamool counters FM factually regarding VAT

The Rajya Sabha today had a debate on the hike in the excise duty on petrol and diesel. In spite of international crude prices falling from 115$ per barrel to 35$ a barrel, the government has increased excise duty of fuel by 17 per cent, thus burdening the common man.

Taking part in the debate, the Union Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley said that States like West Bengal and Bihar increased VAT on petroleum goods in the last one year.

Leader of party in Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien countered Mr Arun Jaitley’s claim and said he was factually incorrect.

“Bengal did not raise VAT on petrol in the past one year. Bengal capped VAT rate in January, 2015,” he said. He also mentioned that the rate of tax on diesel in West Bengal is 17%, and the rate of tax on petrol is 25%.

Derek O’Brien also asked the Chair to set the record straight.

Vivek Gupta speaks on the Appropriation Bill & Finance Bill | Full Transcript

Full Transcript

Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity. Sir, I stand here today to speak on these Bills and I can’t help but remember two ladies in my life. One is Mother Teresa and the other one is our Chief Minister. I start with a short quote from Mother Teresa.

 “It is not how much we give, but how much conditions we put into giving.”

Hon. Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley ji, was very kind and gracious enough to include Bengal in the category of Special Package. We were all very happy in Bengal. But this happiness turned into gloom when we realised that these companies will have to pay MAT on it.

So, in effect, there will be no cash left in their hands which they can then reinvest in the business or reuse. The next point that I want to make is this. In Bengal, the Government is the biggest litigant and frequent changes in tax laws are not helping matters at all. In fact, even the international community says that frequent changes in tax laws is one of the biggest problems which they find when they want to either invest in India or come to India. There is always this uncertainty about India.

Sir, my next point would be that we are concerned about some sections in the Finance Bill and also reports in the media that the Government now proposes to tax all subsidies and incentives received. We don’t receive the subsidy or incentive, but the taxman is ready to take money, so we have to put money from our pocket. I would request the hon. Finance Minister, through you, if it is possible, to please clarify the stand on whether this tax on subsidy and incentive is applicable to individuals as well.

Sir, the last point is about giving powers to income tax people whereby they can send the people to jail. It is like stepping into dangerous waters, especially when there is no reciprocal arrangement. When they harass taxpayers, they do not face similar action. I would request that even harsher penalties be imposed on them when it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that they have harassed taxpayers.

With this, I thank you, Sir.

WB CM writes to Centre to help potato farmers of the state

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to finance minister Arun Jaitley recently to rescue the potato farmers of the state suffering due to a bumper crop this season.

Listing the number of steps already taken by the Bengal government to ensure that the record 1 lakh, 20 thousand metric tonne yield fetches a fair price, WB CM has urged the Centre to take some specific measures that the Centre can take to bail out the farmers.

Concrete steps by State

In her second letter to Jaitley, after one she wrote on April 9, CM said that the state government has taken steps like, directly procuring potato from farmers for supplying to ICDS and midday meal beneficiaries, providing transport subsidy for inter-state movement of potato by the railways, subsidy for exporting potato from the Calcutta port.

In the letter, the CM has asked the finance minister to waive loans taken by potato farmers and also allow fresh loans for the kharif crop.

Letter against curtailing rural dev funds

WB CM has also written a letter to the Centre, opposing any move to reduce funds already sanctioned for rural development projects.

“Recently, the Union government has given us a letter informing about curtailment of funds for a number of rural development schemes, like the Backward Regions Grants Fund and the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhijan fund meant for strengthening panchayat infrastructure,” Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee said. “I shall visit Delhi to talk to the Centre on this issue.”

Fruitful morning session of Bengal Global Business Summit: WB CM

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee lit the ceremonial lamps to inaugurate the Bengal Global Business Summit 2015, being held at Saltlake Stadium. She was accompanied by Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting and captains of industries and state Industry and Finance Minister, besides other industry captains.

The Chief Minister felicitated the industrialists and delegates with the ceremonial uttariya.

The Chief Minister showcased the state government’s policies and achievement in different sectors encouraging the growth of industry.


Highlights of the speech of West Bengal Chief Minister:

•    Bengal is a land of billion opportunities

•    Bengal is rising and shining

•    The captain of the industries are guiding us, advising us

•    Last three years have seen big difference in Bengal

•    Bengal is your own motherland, your own sweet home

•    We have our land bank and land map, land policy ready and enough manpower

•    Our manpower is skilled and cheap

•    Bengal is Number one in MSME when it comes to banking loans growth in this sector

•    Bengal is the Gateway to South East Asia

•    State has announced new policy for IT, Industry and clear policies for other sectors too

•    We are setting up new IT college, Eco-tourism hubs, hospitals in PPP mode

•    We invite the Union Finance Minister’s suggestion and vision

•    Political difference will not block the way for development

•    Good governance mean credibility, determination, accountability, dedication, responsibilities

•    Bengal is the destination of world’s industrialists

•    Bengal is our kormobhumi dhormobhumi matri bhumi sonskritirbhumi

•    Let us work together; service is mine, your vision

•    As a leader I want to work as a sister, as your worker

•    Let us work together . If Bengal shines, India will also shine

•    Bengal is the land of many great leaders. Bengal is the land of Maa, Mati, Manush

•    Your presence has encouraged us to go ahead with our mission and vision

•    We have six helicopter services. Infrastructure is already here

•    We want to extend our assistance to all.


Highlights of the speech of West Bengal Finance Minister:

•    No bandhs in the State. The govt wants to change the work culture and this was most difficult, but we have changed that

•    When I came to office, there were 53 thousand factories closed, 1 crore unemployed, 78 thousand lakh mandays lost. In the next year we diminished the mandays lost to 5020 and zero in the current year

•    Work culture has changed radically, even on the day of a bandh, the Finance Dept. has an attendance of over 94%

•    Bengal is the heart of Southeast Asia, north east India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan

•    One lakh acres of land is available for industry


Highlights of the speech of Union Finance Minister:

•    I am glad that in your address Madame CM you sent out an invitation to attract investment

•    Delighted that Bengal invited the world at large. Bengal has a historic industrial legacy

•    I am sure that initiatives like these will drive investments to Bengal