Bengal growth story not highlighted on national scale: Amit Mitra

Interview of Dr Amit Mitra, Hon’ble Industries & Finance Minister, West Bengal

Q: Is Bengal suffering from a perception issue?

Dr Mitra: Bengal’s reality has changed a lot. It is not being shown on national scale. Bengal’s GDP is growing at 10%. The state is surging ahead in every field, be it agriculture, services or industry. Our slogan is “Come to Bengal, Ride the growth”.


Q: Is WB Govt suffering from communication issue?

Dr Mitra: Media channels are the main source of communication. Some local media channels do not want to show the Bengal growth story.


Q: What is the sales pitch of Bengal in UK?

Dr Mitra: We will highlight all the macroeconomic parameters. Investment proposals worth Rs 84000 crore are already underway. If you take our statistics that I have submitted in the State Legislative Assembly, there will be a lot of heads turning.

Changi airport and SAIL are taking up projects which will not only help in infrastructure but also generate employment. We have land in 38 industrial parks. 4500 acres of land are ready for industries. All departments together have 100000 acres of land which can be put to judicious use.

We have an analytics park coming up at Kalyani. AIIMS-like hospital and several universities in the pipeline too. All this is coming up on government land. We have cleared 7500 acres of private land which is vested and already in the market. The largest technology park of the Central Govt is coming up in Kolkata.

Five tea estates belonging to State Government, which were lying closed for a long time, have been given out in transparent, competitive manner. The transition of the tea estates also saw 100% employee retention. Haldia Petrochemicals is receiving 95% capacity even as stake sale process is underway.

We have applied our minds and are moving ahead at a fantastic pace regarding the issue of land and SEZ. Research shows that SEZs are not sustainable in India which have become a playground for real estate.

Bengal is a power-surplus State now. NTPC is taking up power projects in the State. Bengal is water-surplus State, thanks to the Jal Dharo Jal Bharo project.

The MoUs that will be signed in London are across the board and will encompass all major small and large industries.


Q: Will you change your FDI policy?

Dr Mitra: We will not change our policy. Let me be clear because it is our commitment to the people. We have a mall in the heart of Kolkata which is the highest rated mall in India. So who is against business houses setting up shop? We welcome companies to enter Bengal.

We have eased the process of doing business. One of the biggest problems was mutation. WB CM has put a 30 days limit for the process.

West Bengal Government received award from Central Govt for e-taxation. We are the only State in India to go cheque-free in taxation.

Kanyashree is a revolutionary programme where 22 lakh girls have been registered for financial assistance to pursue education and got appreciation from United Nations as well.

Andal airport to be operational from May 18: WB CM

India’s first private green-field airport set up in collaboration with Changi International Airport of Singapore is ready for commercial operation from 18th May, 2015 at Andal near Durgapur.

WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee today addressed a press conference where she announced that Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport at Andal is India’s first green-field airport. Seventeen such airports were announced to be set up in India but only the Bengal project was completed.

WB CM thanked Singapore-based Changi Airport group for their support and cooperation. She said this airport will soon have flight connectivity with Singapore. The government has also decided to exempt sales tax on aviation turbine fuel for this airport till 2020-21 to make air-travel affordable for common people.

“Bengal will now be connected with the entire world,” the Chief Minister remarked.

Tweets from the Chief Minister:

Foreign delegates all praise for Bengal at Global Business Summit

Bengal Global Business Summit started on a positive note. After the hugely successful morning session where the captains of the industry hailed Bengal, in the afternoon delegates from more than 20 countries participated in the Bengal Global Business Summit and praised about the growth of Bengal.

The participating countries include United States, United Kingdom, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Luxembourg and Australia.

Here is what they said:

  • UKIBC Chair Patricia Hewitt: I invite the Hon. Chief Minister to visit England. I am here to promote B2B – not just Business to Business but Britain 2 Bengal.
  • The Global CEO of Mitsubishi Chemicals: The special affinity between the people of Bengal and Japan continues. We have had privilege of meeting the Honourable CM whenever there was a need and received her support and assistance. I sincerely hope this Summit will be a new dawn in Japan-Bengal relations.
  • Representatives of Changi International Airport: We will continue our relationship with West Bengal. We will continue our relationship with West Bengal.
  • Representative from the USA: We will continue our relationship with West Bengal. My wife and I want to start a Baul village in Bolpur.
  •  Representatives of Scomi group: West Bengal worked very fast to respond to our request. That is why we are here today. West Bengal worked very fast to respond to our request. That is why we are here today. We are looking forward to forge new relationships
  • The South Korean Ambassador:  We are witnessing a very positive change happening in West Bengal. Bengal is destined to become a major hub of Eastern India. State has all that it takes to become an investor-destination. The business-friendly measures taken by WB Govt will help the State in becoming a major investment destination. As Ambassador I would like to see Korean investment increasing in West Bengal. There is a scope for West Bengal and Korea to partner in the SME sector.
  • Business Delegation from Bangladesh: I am accompanying more than 25 entrepreneurs who would love to invest in West Bengal. West Bengal can be our backward link in export of garments and raw materials. The first private sector industrial park by Bangladesh will be set up in Kolkata. Didi is coming to Dhaka in February. We wish to hold a business meet during the visit.
  • Delegate from Kunming, China addressed issues on trade imbalances.
  • President of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce: Bengal and Nepal share a traditional and historical friendship. We request the Honourable Chief Minister to visit Nepal.


Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee addressed the Bengal Global Business Summit at the end of the first day. She took the opportunity to thank all the foreign delegates and the captains of the Industry. Here is what she said:

  • The main message today was ‘come to Bengal, ride the growth.’
  • Our infrastructure is ready. Our resources are ready. Our labour is ready.
  • 14 speakers addressed the morning session and 10 speakers spoke in the afternoon.
  • Discussion will continue tomorrow morning. Any clarification can be taken care of, by officials.
  • I salute my captains of industry. New things are happening in Bengal. This is a Beautiful Bengal.
  • Union Minister Gadkari ji announced projects worth Rs 21000 crore. SAIL announced projects worth Rs 40000 crore.
  • Bengal is always environment-friendly.Thank you to all the delegates who have come here.
  • To all the delegates, my message is, we are deeply obliged.