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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Bengal Business Conclave: Country’s economy on a downslide but Bengal performing well, says Mamata

The two-day conclave is being attended by delegates from 28 countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, UK, Poland, US, Australia, Thailand, Russia, Italy and China among others.

Written by Atri Mitra | Published: December 12, 2019 5:26:40 am
CM Mamata Banerjee at the business meet in Digha, East Midnapore, on Wednesday. PTI


Urging the investors to treat West Bengal as their “sweet home”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that despite the country’s economy on a downslide, West Bengal’s economy has been performing well on several macro-economic parameters like GDP growth, unemployment rate, industry growth and poverty alleviation.

Speaking at Bengal Business Conclave, an investor summit, in the coastal town of Digha, the CM said the state has been able to reduce unemployment by over 40 per cent and poverty alleviation rate is also high.

“Industry depends on economic situation. If I give you the picture of the economic situation in my country, I am not going to criticise, but sometimes reality bites. The reality is the doom and gloom economic condition of the country. Unemployment is highest in the last 45 years. The national industry growth rate has gone down to 1 per cent in 2018-19 economic year. In the second quarter of 2016-17, the country’s GDP growth rate was 8.87 per cent but in 2019-20 it dropped to 4.55 per cent, which is very bad. Manufacturing growth rate, index of industrial growth, FDI inflow rate have all gone down. But in this situation, our state’s GDP growth, manufacturing growth and poverty alleviation rate has been good and high. We have decreased the unemployment rate by 40 per cent,” the Chief Minister said in her inaugural speech at the two-day conference.

Seeking investment for the state, the Chief Minister said that her government will give full assistance to the investors within its limitations and added that state has a land-use policy, land bank, tourism policy, IT policy and tea tourism policy all in place.

She also said that the ease of doing business in Bengal is another reason that investors should choose the state to invest. “The ease of doing business matters. We are number one in doing business in the country. We are also number one in the MSME, e-tendering skill development,” she said pointing out West Bengal’s close proximity to international destinations of South-East Asia like Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore. “Nowadays there is so much tension. Why will you take so much of tension?… business should be with relaxation.”

The two-day conclave is being attended by delegates from 28 countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, UK, Poland, US, Australia, Thailand, Russia, Italy and China among others. Industrialists like Harsh Neotia, Y K Modi, Rudra Chatterjee, Mayank Jalan, Sanjay Budhia and others are also attending the conclave.

Bangladesh minister Nurul Majid Mohammed Humayun said, “In Mamata Banerjee’s leadership, West Bengal is moving in a right direction.”

Bengal Ambuja chief Harsh Neotia also announced to set up a five-star hotel at Digha, “Sagar Kuthir”. Investor Nityananda Kundu said that they will also build a four-star hotel in Digha in partnership with Hyatt.

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