Squarely blaming the Left Front for “poor economic condition” of West Bengal and Kerala, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Friday said industry moved out of these two states as the communist governments there tried to sustain the economy on subsidies.
When the 14th finance commission submitted its report last year, it was found that only two major states —West Bengal and Kerala — were revenue deficit, Jaitley said.
“It is no rocket science to understand what is common between the two states. It is clear that the model that was followed by the Left governments in Bengal and Kerala was that economies can only be sustained by subsidies and grants and private sector activities need not be encouraged…the net effect of it is showing. Industry moved out because these were not the best places to do business,” Jaitley said.
He was delivering the first Suresh Neotia Memorial lecture on Vision for India-2020, organised by the CII in Kolkata.
He also had a word of caution for the present disposition, which, Jaitley said, must remember that investor not only had options in other parts in India but also options in other parts of the world.
“If you are in the government, your policies must hold back investor and not make him run away. If Bengal, now under an alternative government, wants to create jobs, infrastructure and seek more investment, it has to stick to the economic model of being business friendly. That will give it more revenue and help serve the poorer section.”
Referring to the business summits organised by different states, Jaitley said, “Such summits are changing the idiom of politics. Everybody wants to demonstrate they want investment”.