Millennium Post

Bengal needs to create environment for growth: Jaitley

"Madam Chief Minister, you have a mandate to rule the state, and therefore, you have the responsibility to deliver what was promised," Jaitley said, while assuring the state of all possible help for developmental activities.

The Finance Minister was speaking at the West Bengal Global Business Summit.

India should be a strong federation of states, he said, adding, "in all areas where the states want to prosper, we are here to fully support you."

Stressing on the need to attract investment, Jaitley said, "we have to create an environment where we do not merely attract investment but also promise profitable return on that investment...investment will lead to greater investment."

Referring to specific issues concerning West Bengal, the Minister said industries had moved away from the state despite several advantages. "Our challenge is to re-establish West Bengal as an industrial centre once again."

One of the greatest challenges, Jaitley said, was to improve the ease of doing business.

"Investor has a choice...he has a choice of which state to invest in; he also has a choice of which country to invest in; and therefore we have to narrow down his choice so that his choice focuses on India as a particular state," he added.

The Minister further said that West Bengal will benefit from coal auction and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"A large part of the money which we are going to get because of the auction of the coal blocks is going to go to the coal producing states and West Bengal is going to be one of the four states which is going to be major benificiary of that," he added.

As regards GST, he said, "I have not the least doubt in my mind that their revenue position is going to be much better, in the first year of the GST implementation."

Every state in India has to develop and grow, Jaitley said, adding that "though in a multi-party democracy (where) governments of different political shades rule at the Centre and states, there are larger national causes for which they all stand together."

Economic development of India and of states is one such larger national cause for which we all have a shared vision, he said.

Underlining the importance of investments, he said, "If there is economic activity, there will be growth, there will be job creation. If there is profitability, your revenues and our revenues will be up.

"If our revenues are up, it will help us both to service the social sector; it will help us create better infrastructure."

Referring to fiscal problems facing West Bengal, Jaitley said the Centre is soon going to pay you one instalment of the CST compensation within the current financial year.

The states will also gain as a result of implementation of GST, he said, adding "no state will lose a single rupee of revenue... in the case of West Bengal which is predominantly a consuming state, I have not the least doubt in my mind that their revenue position is going to be much better."

The states, Jaitley said, will have greater say in implementation of the government programmes with the setting up of NITI Aayog which will comprise Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of all states.

One of the objectives of the Aayog is to financially empower the states, he added.

"We are in an era of cooperative federalism, the Centre and states have to co-operate with each other to fulfil the mandate we have got," Jaitley added.
Next Story
Share it