The role of new technologies like electronics and IT, especially of effective e-governance initiatives, stronger online infrastructure and wider internet connectivity in ensuring a better, faster and more transparent public service delivery, and overall improvement in the quality of lives of people, is the highlight of the West Bengal Pavilion at the India International Trade Fair 2016, which focused on the theme of “Digital India” this year.
The State also exhibited Bengal’s great artistic and cultural heritage, its superb handicrafts and handloom products, its prowess in Power Generation, Industry, Agriculture and Tourism, the digital boost in Higher Education and School Education sector as well as its present achievements and future opportunities. The theme area has outlined the growth trajectory of Bengal with emphasis on “powering progress, empowering people.”
West Bengal Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra highlighted the reasons why Bengal is becoming the preferred investment destination. With a population of 91.3 million, the State has a strong consumer base and a large talent pool.
The Government has introduced a number of industry friendly policies — Investment & Industrial Policy, Policy on PPP, Policy on JCT, MSMI and Textile Policy, Policy on Renewable Energy, Incentive Scheme for Tourism, Township Policy, and Start-up Policy, some of the most competitive industrial incentive schemes among all States.
“Conscious effort has been made to cut through time consuming and resource draining procedures and to embark on smart public administration to ensure easy ways of doing business in the State. Any statutory permission from issuing of trade licenses to sanctioning of building plans. Conversion and mutation of land, environmental clearances, fire licenses, power connection and water permit is now delivered within prescribed time lines of 15 to 60 days,” said Mitra.
“The State has undertaken the largest IT driven reform process. Tax administration and payment for all Government transactions has been made online. As a result, tax collection has doubled in four years from $ 3.15 billion (Rs 2I,000 crore) to 6.41 billion (Rs 42,000 crore), a record in India”, he added. With over 3.7 million enterprises, the State has a potential to become a leader in MSME development in the country. The State leads in bank credit now to the MSME sector.
Mitra said, “Our State is a leader in availability of quality power. We offer seamless connectivity through 3rd largest road network, existing and upcoming industrial corridors, vast rail connectivity and reliable telecom infrastructure.”