A beaming, happy, West Bengal chief minister on Saturday said that the second edition of the two-day Bengal Global business summit which ended today, had been able to secure a whopping investment proposal of over Rs 250,104 crore. This excluded investment proposals made in 2014-15, which had totalled about Rs 2,43,000 crore out of which Rs 95,000 crore investments had actually happened and various projects were in different stages of implementation on the ground.
“It’s been a very successful business conclave, the best in India I can tell you,” said Mamata Banerjee. “There was high enthusiasm and a perceptible air of optimism over this year’s summit from all quarters,” she said. Most of the industrialists and visiting dignitaries admitted that they did not have a clear idea about the scale of improved infrastructure that the state had created in the past couple of years. The state government spent about Rs 35 crore on this meet, making it a really gala, mega event and have had a professional touch. In the last business conclave the government had spent about Rs 25 crore.
Only time will tell what is the return on the investments made by the West Bengal government but industrialists seemed to be more than happy at the personal touch of the chief minister and her robust assurances on not allowing any intervention – political, law and order and other to come in the way of investments and industries.
Giving the break ups – the state finance minister and the chief minister said that the manufacturing sector has received an investment proposal of over Rs. 1,16,000 crore, Urban Development about Rs 29,000 crore, Mining and Minerals about Rs 23,000 crore, IT and ITes services about Rs 8650 crore, ITC infotech about Rs 1652 ccore, Greenfield refinery about Rs 20,000 crore, automobiles about Rs 1500 crore, Great Eastern Hotels about Rs 1700 crore, Tourism about Rs 450 crore and much more.
One of the days’ significant announcements related to a new air travel link from Kolkata-Durgapur-Bagdoghra,Thimpu-Singapore. The Druk Air and Bengal Air – the main sponsors of the Andal airport project signed a MoU to this end and the prime minister of Bhutan – Mr Tshering Tobgay was present to see this happen.
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Mamata Banerjee said that her government was providing tax free fuel to those airlines who are operating via Durgapur-Andal and also at other state airports.
Another significant MoU was signed between a Chinese PSU in automobile sector and the West Bengal commerce and Industries department regarding manufacturing of high-end buses at Andal adjacent to the airport. Mahindra and Mahindra – another automobile company was said to be also signing a memorandum of understanding regarding producing of automobiles at the Kharagpur Vidyasagar Industrial park.The Calcutta Goods Transport Association and the WBIDC signed a MoU regarding setting up of a multifaceted logistic hub at Baidyabati in Hooghly with an investment of about Rs 5000 crore.
Sapoorji Palonji also signed an agreement for creating a facility of 2000-plus dwelling units meant for Econimically weaker sections and also the Middle Income group. Major projects were also coming in the tourism and hospitality sectors, it was learnt with major investments coming in Mega Theme Park resorts, five-star, four-star and three-star resorts coming in at Gajoldoba near Siliguri. “Bhorer Alo” (Light of the Dawn) project – the CM said: “probably would offer the best view of the Kanchunjunga from this spot in the plains. You have water body, you have forests and wildlife.” This will be one of the finest tourism projects the MoU for which was signed today.