Ease of doing business – Bengal rose from rank 30 to rank 3: Mamata Banerjee at Horasis Asia meet

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today addressed a special international session at the 2017 edition of Horasis Asia Meeting, Asia’s foremost gathering of senior leaders from businesses and governments.

It is being co-hosted by the Bengal Government and the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

This is the first time that this prestigious business summit is being held in India. Horasis is a Zurich-based think tank. About 350 delegates from 65 countries, other than from India are participating in the event.

Highlights of the Chief Minister’s speech:

Bengal is progressing like never before. It is emerging as the industrial destination.

Six and half years ago, the 34-year old Left Front rule came to an end. During their rule, perception about Bengal was not good; but now it has changed.

Our work culture has changed. Earlier, the mandays lost was about 78 lakh. Now it is absolutely zero. There are no strikes in Bengal. We maintain best of relations with the industry, working class and the people at large.

In Bengal, we have our own infrastructural facilities. We have built flyovers, bridges, power stations. From social sector to health, education sector to youth, agriculture to industry sector – we are surging ahead.

You will be happy to know, in the parameter of ‘ease of doing business’, Bengal was earlier ranked 30. Three years ago, the rank improved to 15. Now, we are third in India. Out of 372 parameters, we have fulfilled 336 and in a few months we will fulfill the rest.

We are facing a legacy and it takes time to undo it. I believe, there is no substitute to hard work, dedication, devotion, sincerity, punctuality. We have the vision, the mission and we show it in our action.

We met the Chairman of Horasis in Munich and they had made a commitment to come to India. But why will you choose Bengal? Strategically, geographically, economically, politically, Bengal is safe and sound.

Bengal is a gateway to south-east Asia. From here you can expand your business to Bangladesh – our neighbouring country, who we love so much. From Bengal you can expand to the eight north-eastern States. You can reach Bhutan and Nepal also. They are just half-an-hour away via flight from Bengal. There is easy access to Thailand, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur.

Bengal believes in unity and togetherness – people of all castes, creed, religions live here in peace. We believe there can never be any geographical boundary for art or culture.

Advantage of Bengal is our skill, our talented young generation. The new generation is our asset. I am proud of our young generation. In skill development, we are No. 1 for four years. In small scale industries, we are No. 1 in India. We have started e-services in every sphere.

Our industrial growth is not bad. We are trying. GDP growth rate of India for 2016-17 was 7.1%. The GSDP growth of Bengal was 9.1%. In the industry sector also, India’s growth rate was 5.6%, and that of Bengal was 7.2%.

Bengal has the potential. We have lent investable capital to the tune of Rs 1.82 lakh crore. When we came in our GDP was 4.5 lakh crores. It has doubled. Our revenue earnings has doubled now. We have created 81 lakh new employment in six years and more than 100 crore mandays.

Bengal has several advantages – a strategic location, geographical advantage, peaceful situation in the State. We have best of relations with bordering countries. In Bengal, we are all united. We do not believe in divisive politics.

We have the land bank. We do not capture land forcefully. We have land map and land use policy. We have a surplus power bank. We give all facilities and support to the industry.

We have recently hosted the Under-17 FIFA World Cup football. The quarter final, semi final and final matches were held in Kolkata. FIFA showered us with praises for the superb and excellent arrangement.

In Bengal, we are committed to social empowerment also. Ninety per cent people in the State receive direct benefits from the State. We take care of the poor and disadvantaged people. This year, our flagship ‘Kanyashree’ scheme for the empowerment of girls, received the first prize at UN Public Service Award.

We have set up 46 new multi super speciality hospitals within six years. We have set up Mother and Child Hubs. We give free cycles, books and scholarships to the students.

If you want to invest, enough scope is there in every sector – engineering, jute, textile, servicing, IT, mining, transportation, agricultural marketing, manufacturing. We have deep forests, deep sea, even the Hills. There is enough scope for tourism. If you invest in Bengal, you will definitely go for re-investment.

I will request all the delegates present here to come and join the Bengal Global Business Summit on 16-17 January 2018. More than 30 countries are coming to this summit. We have set up an international convention centre, an eco-tourism park. Even a Financial Hub has been set up.

We believe in sweet relations with the industry. Our captains of industry will tell you the advantages of doing business in Bengal. We can take concrete decisions for investments in Bengal at the Bengal Global Business Summit in January.

My earnest request to you is that do not forget Bengal. Make this State your ultimate destination.


শিল্প গড়ার সুবিধা – ৩০ থেকে ৩ নম্বরে উঠে এসেছে বাংলা: মুখ্যমন্ত্রী

শিল্পের বিষয়ে সুইজারল্যান্ডের আন্তর্জাতিক ‘থিঙ্ক ট্যাঙ্ক’, হোরাসিস ভারতে তাদের প্রথম এশিয়া সম্মেলন করছে। এই সম্মেলন শুরু হয় কাল। এই বৈঠক হচ্ছে কলকাতায়, যা নিঃসন্দেহে রাজ্যের শিল্পে লগ্নি সম্ভাবনার ক্ষেত্রে এক বিরাট উদ্দীপকের কাজ করবে। বিশেষ করে আর দেড় মাস পরেই যখন বিশ্ব বঙ্গ বাণিজ্য সম্মেলন।

সম্মেলনের দ্বিতীয় দিনে আজ একটি বিশেষ সেশনে মূল বক্তা ছিলেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়।

এই সম্মেলনে ৬৫টি দেশের ৩৫০র বেশী কর্পোরেট লিডাররা যোগ দিচ্ছেন, যারা প্রতিষ্ঠাতা, মালিক, ম্যানেজিং ডিরেক্টর, প্রেসিডেন্টের মত মর্যাদাসম্পন্ন।

মুখ্যমন্ত্রীর বক্তব্যের কিছু অংশ:

বাংলায় এখন পরিবর্তন এসেছে। শিল্পের গন্তব্য হয়ে উঠেছে বাংলা – এখানে রয়েছে শিল্পের জন্য উন্নততর পরিকাঠামো।

৩৪ বছরের বাম শাসনের পর বাংলায় পরিবর্তন এসেছে। বাম আমলে শিল্প নিয়ে দৃষ্টি ভঙ্গিতে গলদ ছিল, এখন তার পরিবর্তন হয়েছে।

আমাদের কর্মসংস্কৃতির পরিবর্তন হয়েছে। আগে ৭৮ লক্ষ শ্রম দিবস নষ্ট হয়েছে, এখন এই সংখ্যা শূন্য। এখন বাংলায় কোন বনধ হয়না। আমরা শিল্পপতি থেকে শ্রমিক – সব শ্রেণির মানুষের সঙ্গে সুসম্পর্ক বজায় রেখে চলি।

বাংলায় আমাদের সবরকম পরিকাঠামো রয়েছে। আমরা ফ্লাইওভার, সেতু, পাওয়ার স্টেশন নির্মাণ করেছি। সামাজিক খাত থেকে স্বাস্থ্য, শিক্ষা, কৃষি, শিল্প – সব ক্ষেত্রেই আমরা এগিয়ে চলেছি।

শিল্প গড়ার সুবিধার মাপকাঠিতে(ease of doing business) দেশের মধ্যে আগে বাংলার স্থান ছিল ৩০ নম্বরে। তিন বছর আগেও বাংলার স্থান ছিল ১৫ নম্বরে। আপনারা জেনে খুশি হবেন, এখন দেশের মধ্যে বাংলার স্থান তৃতীয়। ৩৭২টি প্যারামিটারের মধ্যে আমরা ৩৩৬টি পূরণ করেছি, কয়েক মাসের মধ্যেই আমরা বাকিগুলোও পূরণ করব।

আমি বিশ্বাস করি কঠোর পরিশ্রম, ডেডিকেশন, নিষ্ঠা, আন্তরিকতার কোন বিকল্প হয় না। আমাদের ভিশন ও মিশন আমরা আমাদের কাজের মাধ্যমে দেখাই।

আমরা মিউনিখে হোরেসিসের সভাপতির সাথে সাক্ষাত করেছিলাম এবং তারা ভারতে আসার প্রতিশ্রুতি দিয়েছিলেন। কেন আপনারা বাংলাকে বেছে নেবেন? কারণ, কৌশলগতভাবে, ভৌগোলিকভাবে, অর্থনৈতিকভাবে, রাজনৈতিকভাবে বাংলা সেফ অ্যান্ড সাউণ্ড।

বাংলার দক্ষিণ-পূর্ব এশিয়ার গেটওয়ে। এখান থেকে বাংলাদেশে ব্যবসা প্রসারিত করতে পারবেন। বাংলা থেকে উত্তর পূর্বের ৮ টি রাজ্যে ব্যবসা প্রসারিত করতে পারবেন। এমনকি নেপাল ও ভুটানেও ফ্লাইটের মাধ্যমে মাত্র আধ ঘণ্টায় পৌঁছে যাওয়া যায়। বাংলা থেকে থাইল্যান্ড, মালয়েশিয়া এবং কুয়ালালামপুরে সহজেই পৌঁছে যেতে পারবেন।

বাংলা একতা ও ঐক্যবদ্ধতায় বিশ্বাস করে – সকল সম্প্রদায়ের মানুষ এখানে শান্তিতে বাস করে। আমরা বিশ্বাস করি শিল্প বা সংস্কৃতির কোনও ভৌগোলিক সীমানা নেই।

দক্ষতা বিকাশে এক নম্বরে বাংলা। বাংলায় অনেক মেধা আছে। তরুণ প্রজন্ম আমাদের সম্পদ, ওদের জন্য আমি গর্বিত। গত ৪ বছরে দক্ষতা বিকাশে বাংলা ১ নম্বরে। ক্ষুদ্র ও মাঝারি শিল্পে বাংলা ১ নম্বরে। আমরা প্রতিটি ক্ষেত্রে ই-পরিষেবা চালু করেছি।

আমাদের ইন্ডাস্ট্রিয়াল গ্রোথ খারাপ নয়। আমরা চেষ্টা করছি। ২০১৬-১৭ তে ভারতের জিডিপি বৃদ্ধির হার ছিল ৭.১% আর বাংলার জিএসডিপি বৃদ্ধির হার ছিল ৯.১%। শিল্পের ক্ষেত্রেও, ভারতের বৃদ্ধির হার ছিল ৫.৬% এবং বাংলার বৃদ্ধির হার ছিল ৭.২%।

বাংলায় প্রচুর সম্ভাবনা রয়েছে। আমরা ১.৮২ লক্ষ কোটি টাকা বিনিয়োগযোগ্য মূলধন ঋণ দিয়েছি। আমরা যখন ক্ষমতায় আসি, রাজ্যের জিডিপি ছিল ৪.৫ লক্ষ কোটি টাকা, এখন তা দ্বিগুন হয়েছে। আমাদের রাজস্ব আয় দ্বিগুন বেড়েছে। আমরা ৬ বছরে ৮১ লক্ষ নতুন কর্মসংস্থান তৈরি করেছি, ১০০ কোটির বেশী শ্রমদিবস তৈরি করেছি।

বিনিয়োগের জন্য বাংলার অনেক সুবিধা আছে – অবস্থানগত এবং ভৌগলিক সুবিধা, শিল্পবান্ধব ও শান্তিপূর্ণ পরিবেশ, পার্শ্ববর্তী দেশগুলোর সঙ্গে সুসম্পর্ক। আমরা বিভাজনের রাজনীতিতে বিশ্বাসী না।

আমাদের ল্যান্ড ব্যাঙ্ক আছে। আমরা বলপূর্বক জমি অধিগ্রহণ করি না। আমাদের ল্যান্ড ম্যাপ ও সুনির্দিষ্ট জমি নীতি আছে। আমাদের অতিরিক্ত বিদ্যুৎ ব্যাঙ্ক আছে। আমরা পরিকাঠামোগত সবরকম সাহায্য করতে প্রস্তুত।

কিছুদিন আগেই ফিফার অনূর্ধ্ব ১৭ ফুটবল বিশ্বকাপ অনুষ্ঠিত হল কলকাতায়। কোয়ার্টার ফাইনাল, সেমি ফাইনাল ও ফাইনাল ম্যাচ কলকাতায় হয়। ফিফা কর্তৃপক্ষ আমাদের আয়োজনের ভূয়সী প্রশংসা করেছেন।

শিল্পের পাশাপাশি বাংলায় আমরা সামাজিক ক্ষেত্রেও নজর দিই। রাজ্যের ৯০ শতাংশ মানুষ বিভিন্ন প্রকল্পের সরাসরি সুবিধা পান। গরীব ও পিছিয়ে পড়া মানুষদের উন্নয়নের প্রতি আমরা দায়বদ্ধ। মেয়েদের উন্নয়নের জন্য আমাদের চালু করা কন্যাশ্রী প্রকল্প এবছর জন পরিষেবার জন্য রাষ্ট্রসংঘের প্রথম পুরস্কার পেয়েছে।

গত ৬ বছরে ৪৬টি সুপার স্পেশ্যালিটি হাসপাতাল গড়েছি আমরা। মাদার ও চাইল্ড হাব তৈরী করেছি। আমরা বিনামূল্যে সাইকেল, বই দিই ছাত্রছাত্রীদের। বিভিন্ন স্কলারশিপের সুবিধাও পায় তারা।

এখানে উপস্থিত সকল অতিথিকে আগামী ১৬-১৭ই জানুয়ারী ২০১৮য় অনুষ্ঠিত হতে চলা বিশ্ব বঙ্গ বাণিজ্য সম্মেলনে আসার জন্য আহ্বান জানাচ্ছি। ৩০টিরও বেশি দেশ থেকে অতিথিরা আসবেন। আমরা একটি আন্তর্জাতিক মানের কনভেনশন সেন্টার গড়েছি। একটি ইকো-ট্যুরিজম পার্ক তৈরী হয়েছে এখানে। একটি ফিনান্সিয়াল হাবও তৈরী করা হয়েছে।

বাংলায় বিভিন্ন ক্ষেত্রে বিনিয়োগের সম্ভাবনা বিপুল। কারিগরি, পাট, বস্ত্র, পরিষেবা, তথ্যপ্রযুক্তি, খনি, পরিবহন, কৃষি বিপণন – সব ক্ষেত্রেই অনেক সম্ভাবনা। আমাদের জঙ্গল, সমুদ্র, পাহাড় – সব আছে। পর্যটন ক্ষেত্রেও বিশাল সুযোগ। একবার বাংলায় বিনিয়োগ করলে, নিজেরাই পুনরায় বিনিয়োগ করবেন।

আমরা শিল্পপতিদের সাথে সুসম্পর্ক রেখে চলি। এখানে উপস্থিত আমার ‘ক্যাপ্টেন্স অফ ইনডাস্ট্রি’রাই আপনাদের বলবেন তাদের বাংলায় ব্যবসা করার অভিজ্ঞতা। আগামী বিশ্ব বঙ্গ বাণিজ্য সম্মেলনে আসুন, সেখানেই বিনিয়োগ নিয়ে সিদ্ধান্ত নেবেন।

আপনাদের প্রতি আমার আবেদন, বাংলাকে ভুলবেন না। বাংলায় আসুন, শিল্প গড়ুন। বাংলাই হোক বিনিয়োগের গন্তব্য।


Bengal Global Business Summit: WB CM meets Bhutan PM in Kolkata

Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on Wednesday arrived in Kolkata for a four-day visit to West Bengal, and met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the day.

Tobgay will be attending the two-day Bengal Global Business Summit beginning on Friday.

On Wednesday, Tobgay visited the Bhutanese consulate and interacted with the consul general. In the evening, Mamata Banerjee accompanied by government officials paid him a visit.

During her visit to Bhutan in October, Banerjee had invited Tobgay for the business summit.

Trinamool Congress has brought a wave of development in Bengal

Trinamool Congress has been instrumental in changing the perception of Bengal and has brought a wave of development under the able leadership of the party Chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Trinamool Congress has been the face of numerous movements ranging from Singur and Nandigram to fight against intolerance and has been fighting for the cause of strengthening the federal structure of the country.

Since 2011, after Mamata Banerjee became the first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal, Trinamool Congress has been instrumental working on the erstwhile non-existent infrastructure in industry, health, food and supplies systems and above all brought peace in Jangalmahal and the Hills.

In Parliament, where Trinamool is now a force to reckon with, having 34 MPs in Lok Sabha and 11 MPs in Rajya Sabha, has been raising core issues and has acted as a constructive opposition.

Here is a short summary of what the West Bengal Government under Trinamool Congress could achieve in the last 4 and half years:

Numbers show where Bengal stands as compared to India –

The Gross Value-Added (GVA) growth of West Bengal stands at 10.48% whille that of India is 7.5%.
The increase in Per Capita Income in 2014-15 in West Bengal is 12.84% while that of India is 6.1%.
The increase in Industry in 2014-15 in West Bengal stands at 8.34% while that of India is 5.6%.
The increase in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery in 2014-15 has been 6.49% while that of India is 1.1%.


Development in Health sector

Since 22nd October 2014 user-charges for all sorts of investigations, medicine & beds have been waived for all secondary hospitals leading to a giant leap in materializing the goal for health for all.

To increase bed strength, the Government is setting up 41 new Multi- Speciality & Super-Speciality Hospitals. From just 6 Sick New Born Care Units (SNCU) in May 2011, the State now has 48 functioning SNCUs which are playing a major role in reducing infant mortality & morbidity. There was not a single Sick Neonatal Stabilization Unit (SNSU) in May, 2011.

Through Private Public Partnership (PPP) 95(ninety-five) Fair Price Medicine Shops (FPMS) have been opened with a turnover of Rs.544 crores leading to a saving of Rs.344.00 crores to the patients through supply of medicine & equipment by way of discounts covering 1.23 crore prescriptions. This scheme has been declared a Model Scheme by the Government of India.

In addition, 36 (thirty six) Fair Price Diagnostic Centres at Govt. approved rates, much below the market price (e.g. Digital X-Ray @Rs.100, CT Scan @Rs.500, Dialysis @ Rs.500, etc.), have been made operational, benefiting 40,000 patients & of which 9,000 patients have been given 100% free service

Free medicine and free bed-charges scheme – which existed in the zilla and district hospitals – is now extended to medical colleges.

Sisusathi Prokalpo, a free of cost surgery for children affected by congenital heart diseases has been introduced in three private hospitals, including SSKM, under Sisusathi Prokalpo. A human milk bank named Madhur Sneha has been opened at SSKM Hospital. This is a first for eastern India. A cord blood bank has been established in Kolkata, the first of its kind in the eastern region.


Development in Law and Order

As per published data by the National Crimes Records Bureau, Kolkata is a safe city for women, well behind in recorded crimes compared to the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. Kolkata was awarded the “best city” tag when it came to crime-rate and safety at the second edition of the India Today Best City Awards 2014, based on a study of 30 capital and metro cities and 20 emerging cities in India.

Fourteen (14) coastal police stations and five (5) cyber-crime police stations have been set up in the State. In the first phase 30 women police stations were set up, 10 more are being set up and the total target is 65.

Child-friendly Police Stations being set up and nine police stations in Kolkata and 29 police stations across the State have been shortlisted initially.

The Janglemahal area where Left-Wing extremism held sway until the new Government entered office, continued to remain peaceful with the local population being engaged by manifold initiatives of the Government in various economic, social, cultural and sporting activities.


Development in Land & Land Reforms

The Government has been consistently ensuring that the landless are provided land titles, which include forest pattas, Nija Griha Nija Bhumi (NGNB) and LR pattas. More than 2 lakh 30 thousand pattas have been distributed under Nija Griha Nija Bhumi (NGNB), a unique scheme which the Government has introduced to provide houses to the houseless people.

The state government has created an unparalled precedence by distributing pattas to more than 1,92,000 thousand landless families. In this regard it is worth mentioning that while 5670 and 37,723pattas were distributed during 2009-10 and 2010-11, respectively, during the tenure of the present government, a record number of 1,06,264 landless families were distributed pattas.

In the last two years of the Left rule, the land revenues collected was Rs 520.62 crores. In 2009-10, the collection was Rs 244.08 crores and in 2010-2011, it was Rs 276.54 crores. In two years under the Trinamool Government, land revenues collected is Rs 1036.45 crores. In 2012-13, the revenues collected are Rs 483.71 crores and in 2013-14 it was Rs 552.74 crores. On an average, in the last two years in comparison to to Rs 260.31 crores collected by the Left Government, the Trinamool Government has collected Rs 518.23 crores.

In the financial year 2014-15, till December 2014, the Trinamool Government has already collected Rs 429 crores as revenue in nine months, which s expected to be around Rs 600 crores at the end of the financial year in March.


Development for Minority communities

Budget allocation of the Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education Department has increased from Rs.472 Crore in 2010-11 to Rs.1737 Crore in 2014-15, an increase by almost 4 times.

Urdu, Nepali, Hindi, Oriya, Santali and Gurumukhi have been made official languages in places where more than 10% of people belonging to the respective communities reside.

With an increased emphasis on education as the means of development, fifty seven (57) lakh students from minority communities have benefited from different scholarship schemes. Construction of 279 hostels has been taken up for providing better educational environment for the first generation learners.

The Government is committed to address the need for social, educational and economic development of the Scheduled Castes (SC), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). 17% reservation in higher education for OBC has been introduced without affecting seats for General candidates, to be implemented over a 6-year period. Already 10.6% reservation for OBC has been achieved in 2014-15, the very first year.

The Government has introduced a new scholarship scheme “SIKSHASHREE” for both ST and SC students of Class V to VIII.

In the calendar year 2014, more than eighty thousand caste certificates were issued to STs and one lakh twenty thousand students were provided scholarships which are considerably higher than the previous period. The Government has increased coverage under Tribal pension scheme and nearly 1,32,000 ST beneficiaries are now provided old age pension.

The Government has constituted Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board and Tamang Cultural and Development Board for addressing special needs of both the communities living in the State. A Cultural Board for Sherpas has also been announced. The Government has taken up housing schemes for the poor Lepcha and Tamang beneficiaries in 2014.


Development in Micro Small and Medium Enterprises sector

While the country performed abysmally with a 0.7% growth rate in the industrial sector, constant focus on the MSME sector has been a major factor in West Bengal’s achievement of a 9.58% industrial growth rate in the financial year 2013-14.

West Bengal has the second largest number of MSME enterprises. It has 36.64 lakh enterprises which constitute about 10% of total Indian MSME enterprises. With an output of Rs 78,880 lakh crore it represents an important sector of West Bengal’s economy. Since 2011, more than 30,000 new industries have been set-up, with an investment of more than Rs 2,595 crore, This has resulted in employment generation to the tune of more than 2,02,245 jobs.

Policy for medium, micro and small-scale, and textile, industries, 2013-18 has been announced.

To promote innovative and high potential MSME enterprises, the Government has introduced MSME Venture Capital Fund with a corpus fund of Rs. 200 crore. New industrial estates and parks are being set up along with common facility centres for MSME and Textile industry in the state.

The Government has set up Biswa Bangla Marketing Corporation (BBMC) as an umbrella organization of Biswa Bangla showrooms and Biswa Bangla Haat to carry on the business of marketing for various traditional and heritage products of the State with special emphasis on development of market for traditional artisans/weavers.

Over 800 Information Technology companies are operating in the State. The Government had taken up a project of constructing of 15 (Fifteen) Information Technology Parks across the State It is expected that IT Parks at Durgapur (Phase-II), Asansol, Barjora, Purulia, Bolpur, Kharagpur, Rajarhat and Siliguri (Phase-II) will start operation within 2015-16 itself. Classes with the first batch have already started in the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Kalyani.

Bengal is No.1 in All India Skill Competition. The Government intends to skill 5(five) Lakh individuals in calendar year 2015 under various schemes. The “West Bengal Handloom Circuit Development Scheme – 2014” which will provided upgraded skilling to 97,000 handloom weavers and ancillary workers over the next three years has been launched.

The Social Security Net provided by The Government through the State-Assisted Provident Fund Scheme for the Unorganized Workers including construction workers, taxi/auto drivers has achieved a milestone with the enrolment of over 50 lakh workers with an expenditure of Rs. 187.50 crores in 2014-15 year.

Samajik Mukti Card, a smart card, has been distributed to 10 lakh unorganised workers this year. A system of on-line registration of factories has started from April 2014 and submission of factory licence fee through the GRIPS Portal has also been introduced. The Government has also started construction of regional offices of the Labour Department at Siliguri and Asansol.

In MSME, Bengal has the highest credit off take during April-September 2013 with a flow of Rs 8,900 crore in this sector. “This is more than 105% increase on year-to-year basis.


Development for Women and Children

August 14 has been celebrated as Kanyashree Dibas. The scheme aims to promote higher education and secure the future of our girl child and transform them to responsible women of tomorrow. So far 31 lakh girls have been registered under the scheme. Earlier girls enrolled in Class VIII – XII in schools used to receive an annual scholarship of Rs 500. The scholarship amount was increased to Rs 750 from FY 2015-16. One-time grant of Rs 25000 is provided to each of the unmarried girl student on attaining 18 years of age. UNICEF has partnered West Bengal Government after scanning the feasibility of the scheme. Department for International Development, United Kingdom and UNICEF selected the scheme for presentation at the ‘Girl Summit 2014′ held at London. West Bengal government won the Silver Medal for the “Kanyasshree Prakalpo” in the Category of “Outstanding Service in Citizen-Centric Service.” More than 31 lakh girls have registered to Kanyashree which gives them allowance to carry on their studies and side by side stops early marriages of girls and lowers the chances of human trafficking.

Besides Kanyashrre, the Anganwadi projects have shown tremendous growth with 35,926 centres set up till January 2015. The West Bengal CM has started a monthly allowance for the Anganwadi workers. 13 lakh women are now enlisted with the Sabala project.

In the last year of the past Left Government, in 2010-11, the panned expenditure in Women,Child Development and Social Welfare Department was Rs 715.30 crores, while in 2014- 15 the revised budget allocation moved by Trinamool was Rs 3170.07 crores, the amount increased by 4.43 times.

In the 2014-15 Budget (revised), the allotment for Child Development alone was Rs 2520.04 crores.

Uttar Dinajpur has been taken up as a model district for workshops regarding campaigning against trafficking of women and children.

A 3-year working plan has been compiled for building Centre of Anganwadi. 13,389 such new centres are being set up. Arrangements have been made for the women and children in Anganwadi Centres to receive nutritious food such as egg, soyabean, seasonal vegetables, rice and dal instead of Khichdi.



WB CM invites Delhi, Bihar CMs for Bengal Global Business Summit 2016

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee has requested her Bihar counterpart to be present at the two-day Bengal Global Business Summit beginning January 7. She has also invited Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Along with the two CMs, the Prime Minister of Bhutan and delegates from US, China and Japan are likely to attend the summit, which has been conceived to rejuvenate the industrial scenario in West Bengal.

Bengal Global Business Summit 2016, to be held at the Milan Mela Grounds, will cast the spotlight on the state’s capability and readiness to take on bigger and greater business challenges.

The vision for the 2016 summit is to establish an image that embodies the essence of a new, business ready Bengal.

West Bengal’s land policy followed now by others: Dr Amit Mitra

The land policy of the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal of no forcible acquisition of land from farmers is now being followed by some other states, WB Finance and IT Minister Dr Amit Mitra said on Wednesday. The State Finance Minister will meet a Japanese Business delegation today and extend invitation from the State Government to attend the Bengal Global Business Summit 2016.

“The land policy of the present government under Mamata Banerjee clearly states that there will be no forcible land acquisition from farmers. This is now being followed elsewhere,” he said at the FICCI national executive meet.

Citing recent protests by farmers at Noida, Dr Mitra said that some states like Uttar Pradesh were now toeing the line which West Bengal had set. He said the state was having one lakh acres of land under various government departments which was readily available for setting up industries.

Highlighting the progress of the state in various fields during the last four years of Trinamool Congress rule, he said all macro-parameters like per capita income, plan expenditure, capital expenditure had improved while e-governance measures had pushed the state’s domestic product growth.

“When we came to office, there were many festering projects from 2006. One by one we solved them,” he said, giving the example of Shapoorji & Pallonji’s mass housing project at Rajarhat for which the Left Front had allocated 150 acres. The 20,000-unit mini township was stuck in bureaucratic tangle, which was resolved by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Dr Mitra focused his hour-long speech on e-governance initiatives such as e-bantan, e-pradan, e-billing, electronic file tracking and e-tendering and said the system would become more interconnected from December. “From December 1, we expect the whole lifecycle to be complete,” Dr Mitra said. Faster disbursement by electronic modes of payment, the minister said, helped the Government to spend more on development. “Bengal’s capital expenditure was Rs 2,225 crore in 2010-11. In 2014-15, it has grown to Rs 13,375 crore. Why wasn’t it happening before? Part of the reason is the lack of electronic payment.”

Dr Mitra also said that the state had bagged the “highest award” for e-governance among other states this year. “These awards indicate that through electronic methodology, we are cutting back time, reducing rent seeking and introducing transparency,” Dr Mitra said. Seamless implementation of e-governance across departments had helped in reducing time, decreasing rent seeking and increased transparency, he pointed out.

WB CM felicitates self help groups run by women at Anandadhara Sammelan

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee today felicitated self help groups (SHG) run by women at the Anandadhara Sammelan 2015 organised at Netaji Indoor Stadium. The programme was organised by the State Panchayat & Rural Development Department.

The Chief Minister said that the government was providing subsidy of 30% to the SHGs. She called upon all banks to provide financial assistance to these SHGs as they were the future of the country.

Taking pride in the achievements of the SHGs she said that of late a lot of scope for selling their products have come up with so many festivals and events organised by the government. The Chief Minister said that in future the products of SHGs will go global with Biswa Bangla.

Mamata Banerjee slammed the Centre for stopping the funding of several social sector projects like mid-day meal, ICDS, police modernisation among others. She rued the fact that she had to pay for the sins of the Left Front Government.

“The Prime Minister should immediately call a meeting of CMs. Earlier we voiced our concern at Planning Commission. It has been disbanded. Niti Ayog is na idhar ka na udhar ka. If I don’t get funds how will I carry on with developmental projects,” she added.

Around 1000 active SHGs were provided with onetime financial assistance at today’s programme. Fifty one cooperatives were also felicitated and one-time financial assistance was provided to them.

The Government also felicitated the cooperatives who have met with success post the RSETI training.

Today, three districts were awarded for their successful initiatives in providing assistance to the SHGs run by women. A documentary made on SHGs was also be screened today.


Biswa Bangla stalls to showcase lost and forgotten art of Bengal dollmaking

Biswa Bangla stalls will now showcase lost and forgotten art of dollmaking in the State.

A total of 27 genres of Bangla dolls, including rare ones, such as Bonga elephants of Sandra (Bankura), animal dolls from Belia (West Midnapore) and Shiva head of Nabadwip (Nadia), have been brought together at the state-run handicraft retail chain.

Some of the dolls are so rare that only one or two families in the entire state make them now. With the market for these dolls going down, most artisan families have stopped making dolls.

The Shiva Head of Nabadwip is now made only at the time of Basanti Puja, to mark the mythological wedding of Shiva and Parvati. The local artists create colourful masks of Shiva. Unlike terracotta figures, which are baked in ovens, these dolls are dried in the sun. The masks, once painted, are then taken door to door to collect money for the ritual. These artisans make dolls only during Chaitra.

The Biswa Bangla authorities are trying to present the different dolls to the connoisseurs in India and abroad. We have already seen a good demand at our London store. We are also coming up with miniature dolls, along with a short history for them. This makes for an excellent collectors’ item.

It took six months to find some of the rare dolls. The Bonga elephants are not made anymore. They were made by tribals in Bankura, and were dedicated to the Santhali deity, Singh Bonga, at a place called Zaher. In some cases, artistes were convinced to revive their art. The figurines need to have utility too. We assured them a good price and a market too. The unique feature of the elephant is its round shape, nowhere found in other dolls. Animal dolls of Belia have unique features and incorporate semi-circular shapes of the ears. The elephants of Belia are different from other genres with their long round trunks and large ears.

WB CM to hold meeting with Chinese delegation on November 5

A Chinese delegation comprising senior ministers and dignitaries will meet West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee on 5 November and explore the potential for Chinese investment in the state.

Earlier, this year, State industry minister Dr Amit Mitra visited China and showcased the development in infrastructure and power situation of the state which is necessary for investment. A Chinese delegation may attend the Bengal Business Summit in January 2016.

The Chief Minister is going on a three-day tour to North Bengal starting from 2 November and on her return from North Bengal on 5 November, she would meet the Chinese delegation. She would go to Mal, Cooch Behar and Jaigoan – to hold meetings on public distribution system and will also hold administrative meetings in Jaigoan, near Bhutan border.

Recently a seven-member team from Singapore met state urban development officials and showed interest in various smart city projects, especially that of New Town.

The State Government has asked the delegation to see if they could form a consortium to assist the government for the smart city projects. The state is also planning to stage a road show in Singapore to promote the smart city projects.

Before going to North Bengal, the Chief Minister would visit Junglemahal for three days starting from 28 November. Her regular visits to the Hills and Junglemahal have helped to restore peace in the areas.’

The West Bengal Chief Minister had earlier said that she would begin her dream project “Sabuj Sathi’ distribution of cycles to all school children.”I will start the pilot project from Bandowan in Purulia just before the Jaggadhatri Puja. Earlier, we used to distribute cycles to minority, schedule caste and schedule tribe girl students but now the cycles will be distributed to all students,’ she added.

‘Deemed clearance’ for conversion & mutation of land for Industry to be given: Dr Amit Mitra

The West Bengal Government will give `deemed clearance’ for conversion and mutation of land for industry if the department concerned fails to submit the report within the time frame.

State commerce and industries Minister Dr Amit Mitra told that CM Mamata Banerjee has taken this step to “further ease the process of doing business in Bengal“. “Earlier, it used to take 5-6 months for conversion and mutation of land but now in some cases, it is happening in 7-10 days. Conversion and mutation of land will be electronically linked,“ he said.

Earlier, addressing the annual general meeting of Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Dr Mitra said that apart from environment clearance from West Bengal Pollution Control Board, all the other clearances related to industry will be `deemed’.

To make business easier in Bengal and boost investors’ confidence, fire safety licences will now be issued online to those willing to set up new units. Fire services minister Javed Ahmed Khan said, “We have hired a company to create a dedicated portal for this. It’s expected to be operational by the end of the year.“

In June, the West Bengal Chief MinIster had declared she would move to the `next level’ of smoothing out the process of doing business here. This included 30 days for land conversion and 21 days for mutation of land. The state has already empowered industry promotion bodies like West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), Webel, WBIIDC and WBSIDC to sanction building plans for industrial purposes.

On the second Bengal Global Business Summit, Mitra said out of Rs 2.43 lakh crore proposed investment in the state, processing has started for Rs 91,000 crore.“We have started road shows. The one in Delhi was very encouraging. Industrialists have said experience of doing business in Bengal is better than in other states,“ the Minister added.

“Capital expenditure has grown by 601% in the last four years since our government took over. It was Rs 2,225 crore in 2010-11 and it went up to Rs 13,375 crore in 2014-15. The growth of physical infrastructure was also more than 330%,“ Dr Mitra pointed out.

West Bengal has embarked upon smart public administration: Dr Amit Mitra

West Bengal has embarked upon smart public administration which is crucial for industrial competitiveness, state Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra said in Delhi.

This would cut through time consuming, resource-draining procedures to spur the state’s economic growth, he said.

The Minister is on a visit to the country’s capital to promote the forthcoming Bengal Global Business Summit 2016 scheduled to be held between January 8-9 next year in Kolkata.

Dr Mitra said the most effective change in his state has been the digitisation of services where new and old businesses are required to submit data less frequently, and services can be provided more efficiently and more securely for everyone.

The pricing policy of land in industrial parks is also provided online apart from the disbursement of incentives which has resulted in a more transparent system.

A new web portal has also been put in place that allows entrepreneurs to post their business proposals on it after which the person is connected to investors and professional experts or mentors.

While simplification in the process of issuing trade licences has already been implemented, necessary amendments in the state’s labour laws are underway.

He said West Bengal is strategic in terms of its geography, as it is the only gateway to north-east India by land or waterway, and is also the largest vegetable and fish producer in India. It is among the largest producers of rice, fruits and tea.

At a roadshow, which was the precursor to the promotional event, organised jointly by the State Government and industry body FICCI, the Minister said that apart from the low cost of doing business in West Bengal, the state was also the leader in drawing investments in the micro, small and medium industries in the country during 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Under an agreement with IIM Calcutta, 400 departmental officers are being trained to change the business environment in the state.

During the first quarter of 2014-15, the state’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 8.9 percent in comparison to the 5.7 percent growth nationally. The industrial sector also rose by 6.28 percent in comparison to 4.2 percent at the national level.