CM, Governor in sync over global investment plans for Bengal
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar — who attended the Bijaya Sammelani for the first time with his wife — to visit a foreign country and pitch for investments in Bengal.
Striking a chord of harmony, the Governor — who had earlier been involved in multiple spats with the state government — accepted the Chief Minister's proposal and said Bengal was on the right track and an ideal destination for investment. It is for the first time that the Chief Minister had requested the Governor to approach foreign investors for the economic rejuvenation of the state.
Banerjee on Monday hit out at the Union government for the high prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas and said that it is creating hindrances to the development of the state when it has distributed crores to BJP-ruled states.
The Centre has collected around Rs 4 lakh crore from taxes levied on cooking gas, petrol and diesel and the ruling BJP is giving Rs 1000 crore financial assistance to states ruled by it, while Bengal does not get anything, Banerjee said. She said the Bengal government has been providing a concession of Re 1 per litre for diesel despite the financial constraints faced by it.
Meanwhile, Banerjee announced that the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) would be held on April 20 and 21 in 2022; and she would herself visit a foreign country to fetch investments.
BGBS could not be held for two successive years, 2020 and 2021, because of Covid. Bureaucrats, businessmen and investors were present at the Bijaya Sammelani, which was held at Eco Park on Monday evening.
Banerjee has envisioned the state to become the IT destination of the world and has already invited leaders in the IT industry to participate in a big way in next year's BGBS.
She also announced the hosting of an International Bengali Music Festival — the first of its kind in the state during the winter season next year. The venue for the event will be Red Road as the place can host a large number of people. However, the dates for the festival along with the foreign artistes who will be participating have not been announced yet.
The state government organises the Bangla Sangeet Mela every year to showcase Bengali folk songs, instrumental music and basic compositions.
Banerjee also announced the dates for the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which will be held from January 7 to 14, 2022. The KIFF could not be held this year because of the pandemic crisis.
The Chief Minister also had some positive news for the book lovers as she announced the starting date for the Kolkata International Book Fair, which will be January 31, 2022. The event could not be organised in 2021 due to the prevailing Covid situation.
Banerjee had announced at the release of the festival edition of 'Jago Bangla' last month that the Book Fair would be held in January 2022. The focal theme country for the book fair will be Bangladesh as 2021 is the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 50th year of the independence of India's neighbour.
The Publishers and Book Sellers Guild plans to hold the Book Fair for at least 12 days following all the necessary Covid protocols.
She also recalled the absence of Subrata Mukherjee on the stage while presenting the Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman award to the clubs at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre. Around 450 Durga Puja organisers were awarded in the programme.