CM invites captains of industry to invest in Bengal

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the negative publicity of the state was probably due to poor financial status of her party Trinamool Congress.

“There is negative publicity about the state despite its progress on all fronts. This may be due to the fact that we are poorest of the poor party,” she said at the CII National Council meet here.

She said, “This is a democratic right (for those who say it) and I can’t challenge that.”

Inviting the captains of Indian industry who converged here at the CII meet here, the chief minister’s narrative ranged from progress on economic parameters to increased industrial investments taking place in the state.

“Land is available with us in the land bank which is being used to provide for new cities and industrial parks,” she said.

No forcible acquisition of land

The Chief Minister said that she was against taking away land forcibly from farmers and advocated that the input should be purchased directly.

“It is our policy not to bulldoze or evict farmers or forcibly buy land from them.We have a land bank of 7,400 acres spread from Asansol to Kalyani. We also have land in Raghunathpur, Kharagpur and Panagarh. I know there is some issue with the land ceiling which doesn’t allow a person to keep land above 24 acres. But if you have a large parcel of land, you can form a group of three or four or more and keep the land,“ she said.

Helpline number for industry

Companies like SAIL, DVC and NTPC were investing in West Bengal, she said and welcomed investments to the state.

She gave the helpline number saying that any problem faced would be sorted out by just giving her a call.

She also invited the CII members to attend the global business meet to be held here in January.

Praise from captains of industry

The Chief Minister got local impetus when city businessmen Sanjeev Goenka and Y C Deveshwar praised the ease of doing business here.

Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej said: “Land is no longer an issue now. The CM is trying her best. I believe things have started moving in the state.“ Apollo Hospitals vicepresident Shobana Kamineni also appreciated the move.

“We had a very good interaction with her,“ she said. Sanjiv Goenka, too, added that the interaction with the CM was “very inspiring“.

President designate of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Noushad Forbes held that things are “now moving in Bengal.“

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.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy seeks clarification from Union Power Minister on coal stocks of NTPC | Transcript

Sir, very recently the NTPC authorities have pressed the panic button that the NTPC was having coal stocks only for 2-3 hours. The NTPC authorities have sent a letter to the Government stating (as it is reported in the press also) that they don’t have coal stocks even for two to three hours. Subsequently the Coal India Ltd, has clarified that whatever is the requirement of the NTPC plants, that they have supplied, and all the NTPC plants are having 100 per cent coal stocks. Then, why did the NTPC press the panic button?