Business made easy in Bengal: WB CM

The chief minister’s office (CMO) organised a meeting with leading industry bodies and captains at Town Hall today. The basic talking point of the Town Hall meeting was “Business made easy in Bengal”.

Faster clearances

At the meeting, the Chief Minister announced that the state government will issue provisional certificate of clearance for projects within 15 days. She also announced that trade licenses issued in urban areas will now be required to be renewed every three years – she asked officials to make it 5 years – instead of one year.

The West Bengal Government said that mutation of land for industrial units could be done within three weeks and the land conversion could now be allowed a month. In an integrated initiative, the State has simplified much of the paper work and processes for setting up businesses in the State.

“We want healthy competition among companies in Bengal for more investment. We have started MSME assistance centres in every district. We have started e-VAT system,” she said.

Through amendments of relevant laws and time-bound commitment for clearances, the State government has on Monday said it ushered in easy ways of doing business.

The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured business community that right from issuing trade licenses to sanctioning of building plans, every statutory sanction was to be delivered within prescribed timeline of between 15 to 30 days.

Stress on e-governance

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Amit Mitra, State Finance and Industry Minister, said, “WB CM took the initiative to use IT as a tool for governance. Bengal received award in e-governance for revenue and Kanyashree. Using IT as a tool for distributing benefits to girls registered under Kanyashree is a vision of WB CM.”

He added that Bengal is the only State in India to have a full e-treasury and all payments are made through e-process. He said the government was implementing Integrated Financial Management System.

The Chief Minister asked investors to invest in the seven upcoming theme townships at Asansol-Durgapur, Kalyani, Bolpur, Siliguri, Domjur, Baruipur. She also highlighted that the government has initiated a project worth Rs 37,000 crore to boost the textile sector.

Ease of doing business

Flanked by Ministers and Bureaucrats, the Chief Minister announced that from now on self-certification and self-attestation would be allowed in all transactions with the Government.

Some 400 relationship managers, newly appointed by the industrial development wings would facilitate businesses. Among other measures is the exemption from pollution control certificates in case of new electricity connection. As a commitment towards the right to services, the State will issue within 15 days “no-objection” certificate for building plan under the West Bengal Town Country (Planning and Development) Act. “If it is not issued within 15 days, then it would considered as deemed to be approved,” said Amit Mitra, State’s Finance Minister.

In case of industrial estates or parks, State government industrial development arms such as WBIDC, WBSIDC, WBIIDC and Webel have been delegated the power to sanction building plan for industrial units.

WB CM to meet captains of industry today

The chief minister’s office (CMO) will organize a meeting with leading industry bodies and captains at Town Hall today.

The basic talking point of the Town Hall meeting will be “Business made easy in Bengal”. WB CM is also likely take stock of the Rs 2.43 lakh crore worth of investment announced during the Bengal Global Business Summit in January.

Focus on key sectors

It is learnt that industry, IT and MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) departments have already prepared necessary notes for the meeting. Apart from these nodal industry departments, representatives from departments like power, labour, environment, water resources, urban development, fire, irrigation, land and panchayat will be present at the meeting.

The focus sectors identified by the state government include urban infrastructure and housing, IT (software and hardware), food processing, horticulture and floriculture, MSME and textiles, healthcare, education and skills, manufacturing, energy and infrastructure, hospitality and tourism, entertainment and financial services.

Captains of industry hail the move

P Roy, director general of Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), welcomed the development. “It is a very positive step taken by the chief minister,” he added.

MCC Chamber of Commerce assistant director-general Subhasis Roy said this step will boost the sentiment of industry. “The CM is doing the right thing. This will go a long way to attract investment in Bengal. The coordination between different departments is very crucial. This is what we need,” he added.

The director-general of Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Rajeev Singh, also felt that it is a very welcome move from the chief minister.