Amid criticism that it failed to attract investment, the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal on Wednesday announced several sops for businessmen, including setting up of 100 industrial parks in the state to boost employment generation.
The ‘West Bengal Incentive Scheme-2014 for Government Approved Industrial Parks’ would focus on the micro, small and medium enterprises, said state Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay as he briefed mediapersons of the decisions taken at the Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Launched in 2014, the scheme has been extended for another five years.
Fourteen parks spread over 1,300 acres of land were already being developed under private partnerships, said the secretary. “The government has decided to expand the scheme to 100 suchparks to increase job opportunities in the MSME sector,” he said.
The government’s announcement comes months before the 2021 Assembly elections in the state. With this decision, the ruling TMC aims to blunt BJP’s strategy to corner the government over an alleged slump in new investments.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has also repeatedly sought details from the government as how much of the investments announced in the last five editions of Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) fructified. Last week, BJP national general secretary and party’s state in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya tweeted, “Why is there no new investment in Bengal? What’s the point of organising business summits and signing MOUs when they don’t result in actual investments? Who is benefiting from organizing these jamborees? @MamataOfficial should answer these difficult questions.”
Bandyopadhyay said that under the scheme, the government would reimburse Rs 2 core for an industrial park spread over 20-39 acres, Rs 4 crore for 40-59 acres, Rs 6 crore for 60-79 acres, Rs 8 crore for 80-99 acres and Rs 10 crore or more for 100-plus acres. To claim this incentive, industries have to spend 20 per cent of project cost on common facility centres.
If a common effluent treatment plant is built, the government will give a subsidy of Rs 5 lakh for every acre. For co-operative societies, the land stamp duty will be reimbursed. To build infrastructure, the government will use power sub-station and build a connecting road up to 1.5 km.
In the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the secretary said the Cabinet also announced 642 jobs for the post of medical technologist: 485 for 75 hospitals and another 157 for critical care units.