Britain, KMC join hands to make Kolkata low-carbon city

Kolkata is all set to receive the first-of-its-kind climate change cell in the city, which will offer citizens a platform to interact with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation authorities on issues of climate change and assist in addressing them.

This web-enabled cell is to be launched next month at the headquarters of Kolkata Municipal Corporation at S.N.Banerjee Road. The cell has been formed as part of the roadmap for transforming the city into a low carbon climate resilient zone.

The civic body will designate a room where the cell will be located with help desk facilities, where concerned citizens can come with their views and reports. Along with this the cell will also enable virtual facility; it will have a dedicated web portal and a mobile app. The portal will provide information about concerns related to carbon emission in Kolkata, and the KMC’s initiatives to address them.

UK Employment Minister Priti Patel and KMC Mayor Sovan Chatterjee launched a ‘roadmap’ to make Kolkata a low carbon economy and a climate resilient city.

“Kolkata is leading the way in India, and playing its part in the international effort to tackle climate change,” Priti Patel, UK Cabinet Minister for Employment, said after releasing the ‘roadmap’ at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

The British-Indian MP said with the launch of the roadmap, Kolkata has become one of the first cities in India to put in place an integrated strategy to lower emissions, improve resilience to the impacts of climate change and reap the economic benefits that a low-carbon transition can bring.

The roadmap contains recommendations across 20 sectors including disaster management, health, low-carbon procurement, resource conservation and policy to encourage use of solar energy.

“Over the next decade, the roadmap is expected to save carbon emissions; create one million green jobs; and attract investment in multiple sectors such as solar, solid waste management and energy efficient lighting,” Patel said.

Congratulating the Kolkata Mayor, his team and their British partners for this initiative, the UK minister said she will look forward to sharing Kolkata’s success story with other cities across the world.

During UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Kolkata in 2013, the UK had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to provided technical assistance of Euro 1 million to implement this initiative.

10 things that delegates said at BGBS 2016

The first day of the Bengal Global Business Summit 2016 passed off very well. A host of industry honchos from 25 countries as well as from India, along with quite a few international and national political personalities attended the opening day. Praises were heaped on the West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee by all of them for her exemplary leadership. Many of them fondly called her ‘Mamata Didi,’ proving her endearing nature. Not only praises, but concrete investments were announced by the bigwigs as well. All is well for the State of West Bengal.

Here are what some of the delegates said at the summit:


Bengal ranks high in terms of ease of doing business. I congratulate CM Ms Mamata Banerjee for her leadership.


Mamata Banerjee is a household name in Bhutan. We were honoured to host her last year.


We are impressed with the achievements of Bengal in the last four years.


Our partnership with Bengal has deepened. Under the current Chief Minister, Bengal has developed immensely.


It was Mamata Didi who helped me navigate the logjam in Parliament after 200-odd coal block allocations were cancelled.


West Bengal is a hub of railway operations. We will fast track metro projects in Kolkata.


In the last few years there has been rapid transformation in Bengal under Mamata Banerjee.


The West Bengal Chief Minister is a gutsy leader but on a personal level she is a great host, a warm person. I request all of you to whole-heartedly invest in Bengal.


Bengal is one of the best states to invest in.


Giant strides have been made throughout the State in the last three years … I will definitely go away today as the brand ambassador of West Bengal.


Ease of doing business has improved in Bengal. We congratulate the West Bengal Chief Minister.

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.

Captains of industry praise Bengal as investment destination

Dignitaries and the members of business delegation showered praises on the West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee and the industrial condition of West Bengal at different meeting held by the Bengal business delegation in London.


British Employment Minister Priti Patel: “She is an amazing lady, let me be clear about that, in terms of detail, vision and passion. She is an incredible leader – to listen to her speak on the podium and in conversation as well.”

“They (UK investors) started to dip their toes in the west when the PM and I went to Calcutta two years ago.”

“Now we were able to follow up from the discussions and the conversations we had then. She was then fizzing with ideas. Now we were able to put through things in a much more concrete way.”

UKIBC Chair, Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt: “What I heard was not the usual rhetorics; I could also see a clear sense of purpose.”

Chandra Kumar Dhanuka, Chairman, Dhunseri: Never lost any mandays because of labour problems. I take the responsibility to say that the industrial relation in West Bengalis better than any other States in India.”

Sanjay Budhia, MD, Patton: “No mandays were wasted in our factories. New factory received license and other required papers from the Government within seven days.”

YC Deveswar, Chairman, ITC Limited: “I have come to London in spite of my busy schedule because I wanted to let you know about my experiences of doing business in Bengal. I think there are very less markets in India such as West Bengal. Consumption level is increasing by 3% per annum here.”

Harsh Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group: “Kolkata will judge you first. If it likes you, it will give you the warmest of welcomes. You have to come here with the mindset of playing a long innings.”

Head of Apollo Tyres: “The presentation about Bengal and the case studies shown have been an eye-opener.”

Sanjeev Goenka: Though we are happy with our investments in UK, we are happier with our investments in Bengal.”


UK and Bengal sign 21 MoUs

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led delegation to the UK today clinched 21 MoUs with the UK in the fields of industry, health, education and urban development.

The agreements were signed during a bilateral meeting with Britain’s Minister of State for Employment and British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Indian Diaspora champion Priti Patel at a reception hosted at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London.

Praise for Bengal

“This is a landmark visit… These MoUs will help bring the UK and West Bengal ever closer, and unleash the potential of our relationship,” Patel said in her address.

“For 34 years, West Bengal languished under Communist rule. The state had tremendous potential, but that potential remained unfulfilled… I am delighted to say that things are changing fast. Today, West Bengal is on the move.

“Under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership the state is enjoying a renaissance and its potential is beginning to be realized,” said the Indian-origin minister, who had accompanied PM Cameron to Kolkata in 2013.

“The Prime Minister was impressed. It was clear to him this was a state ? and a Chief Minister ? that we could do business with. That’s why he invited you (Banerjee) to visit London,” she said on behalf of the British Prime Minister, who is on a tour of South East Asia.

Details of MoUs


1. Between WB Infrastructure Development Corporation and UK-IBC for building up business relation between England and West Bengal.

2. Between Pandrol Ltd, UK and Rahee Infratech for a rail fastening clip unit

3. JV between Fonz Leather Styles, UK and JC International for leather unit

4. JV between Fomas group, Italy and ArcVac Forgecast for forging press

5. On support from Laura Ashley and Luike Irvine, UK for promotion of Bengal handicrafts

6. Between Jacob’s UK Ltd and Nicco Park & Resorts Ltd for technical assistance

7. Invitation of guidance between WBIDC, India Teas Association and UK Teal Packeters.

8. Collaboration agreement between Eden Projects, UK and Highland Genesis Developers for micro climate controlled bio domes for eco-tourism.

9. Between Bengal’s Nestor’s Industries and Genus, UK for upgrading genetic potential in Bengal’s dairy animals.

10. Between PC Chandra group and Wester Winter GMBH & Co, UK for development in gold industry.

11. Agreement with Paul Mech, UK and Shopping Bag Directs Ltd to sell Gobindobhog rice in global markets.


12. Understanding with Royal College of General Practitioners for support on PG diploma on family medicine.

13. Between Society for Health and Demographic Surveillance and University College of London Institute of Global Health for collaboration on public health education.

14. Between WB Health & Family Welfare Society and College of Nursing, Dundee, Scotland for nursing education.

15. Between Society for Health and Demographic Surveillance and London School of Tropical Medicine for assistance in Pubic Health Engineering.

Urban Development

16. Between WB HIDCO and Jason Bruges Studio, UK for smart technologies in New Town.

17. Between HIDCO and Smart Cities Catapult, UK for making New Town a Smart City.

Higher Education

18. Between School of Oriental and African Studies and Presidency University for co-operation on South Asian studies.

19. Between School of Oriental and African Studies and Presidency University for Bengali studies in SOAS and exchange programme.

20. Between University of Cambridge and Presidency University for collaboration in arts, humanities and social sciences.

21. Between East Anglia University, Norwich and Presidency University for collaboration in humanities.



Mamata in London – Day 1 itinerary

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee reached London at around 11 PM IST, last night with the Bengal business delegation. On social media, she had informed yesterday night that that the meetings will start tomorrow, July 27.

West Bengal Chief Minister’s itinerary on July 27, 2015:

The official delegation has several meetings lined up  today with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Envac, Wembleyon Smart SWM Project, Royal College of General Practitioners, Future Child Catapult and Rothchild.

WB CM will attend a business event hosted by the UKIBC and FICCI in the afternoon.

West Bengal Chief Minister will be visiting the Buckingham Palace on an invitation extended to her by the Duke of York, Prince Andrew.

Today, the West Bengal Chief Minister will also hold a meeting with the Rt Hon Priti Patel, Minister of State for Employment, Government of UK, to discuss several issues regarding Bengal and will be given a felicitation by FCO at the famous Locarno Suite.

WB CM to meet UK industry brass

With chief minister Mamata Banerjee being invited to Asia House in London for a round-table meeting on July 29, top state officials are working overtime to prepare for the 90-minute power-packed event, which is likely to pave the way for investment propositions in Bengal.

Asia House in London, which recently hosted dignitaries, such as the president of Mongolia, secretary of ASEAN, foreign minister of Japan and finance minister of Thailand, has invited WB CM to discuss Bengal’s potential as a business destination. The Chief Minister, along with state Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra, Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra, MSME Secretary Rajiva Sinha and other bureaucrats, will talk about the “ease of running business“ in Bengal.

In a note for the meeting, Asia House has mentioned Bengal’s achievements on the industry front. “It has abundant natural resources and a growing IT sector… the state government is making efforts to encourage higher revenue mobilization and enhance capital expenditure. The state is undergoing a major deregulation drive to make doing business in the state easier, faster and more transparent,“ it stated.

WB CM to showcase Bengal for investments in London

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee would visit the UK to showcase the state as an ideal destination for investment. She will be leading a 37-member official delegation to London on July 26 for her five-day visit to the UK and would return to Kolkata on July 30.

The Chief Minister’s visit would begin with a conference of British CEOs during her interaction at the UK India Business Council.

The West Bengal Chief Minister will meet Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace during her visit to London this month.

Baroness Frances D’Souza, the Speaker of the House of Lords, and Priti Patel, an Indian-origin minister of state for employment, are among the others scheduled to meet West Bengal Chief Minister, who will leave for the UK on July 26.

The next day, July 27, the West Bengal Chief Minister will attend a meeting organised by the UK-India Business Council and FICCI at an event in the UK foreign office.

On July 28, the West Bengal Chief Minister will hold meetings with the Indian business delegation and their MoU partners in the UK. She will also attend a cultural programme at the Natural History Museum.

The next day, she will meet the directors of Asia House, a non-profit organisation. The Indian High Commission will host a reception for Mamata.

The West Bengal Chief Minister is also scheduled to visit the recently unveiled statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Parliament Square, London and pay homage.

She will fly back to Kolkata on July 30.