Bengal - best investment destination: Mamata
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said Bengal has emerged as the best investment destination in the country and it has earned appreciation in the international arena over the past six-and-a-half years.
Banerjee was speaking at the "Plenary Session of Horasis Asia Meeting 2017" at a city hotel. Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said the state had witnessed little economic growth in the 34-year rule of the Left Front regime. However, the scenario has changed in the past few years.
"The perception of Bengal was not good during the previous government's tenure. We overcame problems of the past. Now, the state maintains best relationship with the industrialists. The work culture has gone through a sea change in the past six-and-a-half years," Banerjee said.
Citing statistics, she said during the tenure of the previous government, the state witnessed a loss of 78 lakh man-days while the figure stands at zero now. There are no strikes and that in turn boosts the confidence of the industrialists across the world.
She reminded that Bengal has climbed to the third position in India for creating an industry-friendly atmosphere. Based on the rate of improvement, she expressed that the state will soon claim the top spot. Banerjee said the state's GSDP has reached 9.27 percent in the year 2016-17, whereas the country's GDP stands at 7.1 percent. The industrial growth rate in Bengal is higher than that of the national average. For Bengal, it is 7.24 while the national figure is 5.6.
Before the next edition of the Bengal Global Business and Summit (BGBS), which is scheduled to take place in the city on January 16 and 17, next year, Banerjee urged the industrialists to invest in Bengal as there are no problems with the infrastructure and adequate land is available. There are skilled workers and a large pool of talent along with 24-hour power supply and road connectivity. She also announced that around $15 billion will be invested for building infrastructure in the next few years.
She stated: "Bengal is important for its strategic location as it is the gateway to the North-East states. People can expand their businesses to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and other neighbouring states."
The state has made a significant progress in several sectors that include MSME, manufacturing industry, health and construction of rural roads. Recently, the United Nations has awarded the Chief Minister's pet project — Kanyashree— with the highest public service honour. She has invited all the industrialists and international delegates to attend upcoming BGBS.