West Bengal received investment proposals worth Rs 17,000 crore on the first day of Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) from leading industrialists of the country.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced an investment of Rs 5,000 crore in retail and petroleum outlets, while JSW Group Chief Sajjan Jindal said the state would receive investments worth Rs 10,000 crore in cement capacity expansion, steel, paints and power over the next 3-4 years.
RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said he would make an investment of Rs 1,000 crore in power distribution network.
Adventz Group Chairman Saroj Poddar also announced an investment of Rs 1,000 crore in the state.
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Steel magnate L N Mittal of Arcelor Mittal said he plans to bring his family foundation activity in West Bengal, which works in the area of child nutrition.
A clutch of industrialists like Future Group Chairman Kishore Biyani, top banker Uday Kotak and foreign delegates attended the summit that concludes tomorrow.
The showpiece investment summit, however, was bereft of any participation from the central government ministers or officials.
That did not deter the industrialists to heap praise on Bengal with India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani calling it nothing short of a “miracle” that the state has adopted a change in mindset to welcome industry.
“Didi, under your leadership, West Bengal will be the best Bengal,” Ambani said.
Yearning for more investments in the state keeping in mind the future of young generation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged them to come in droves and invest here.
“West Bengal is the investment destination now as other states like Maharashtra is exhausted. The state is strategically located and serves as a gateway to the north- east and the Asean region,” she said.
She added that the state government is spending heavily in social and physical infrastructure, despite being bogged down by “34 years of legacy” of previous Left Front rule.
She assured that the industry of Bengal means business and said even her own party-men will not be spared if problems were posed by them.
“Please consider West Bengal as your home and come and invest here,” she said, adding that there will be no discrimination and no intimidation for industrialists willing to invest here.
“I can assure one thing. Bengal will not deprive anyone,” she said, reminding the audience that the state stood for unity with tolerance in its views and action.
Banerjee said the state, which was once synonymous with bandhs, has not lost a single man-day in the past six years and her government was against strikes.
The state had also emerged on the top in terms of the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector and climbed up the rankings on the ease of doing business.
The summit has partner countries like China, Poland, South Korea, Italy and UK, among others.
Ambani said RIL had committed an investment of Rs 4,500 crore in the state but has ended up investing Rs 15,000 crore.
“Didi, we could make this large investment only because you have created a friendly climate and an enabling policy infrastructure,” he said, adding that RIL has emerged as one of the largest investors in Bengal.
Most of the investment has been made in creating fourth- generation high-speed mobile and Internet network for Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of RIL.
He said his company had already invested Rs 15,000 crore in the last two years in the state towards the Jio network rollout and 100 per cent coverage will be achieved by December, 2018.
“Reliance will always be a reliable growth partner for West Bengal,” Ambani said.
Also, Reliance will work with “multiple partners to explore setting up next generation state-of-the-art electronics manufacturing facilities and make West Bengal the hub for innovation and hi-tech technologies for consumer devices such as mobile phones, set-top boxes, and other devices,” he said.
Starting in 2015 through a public Wi-Fi Experience Zone in Park Street, Jio has enmassed over 1.2 crore customers in the state, Ambani said.
He said the digital economy will bring prosperity at more than double the speed of the traditional economy.
Mittal, who hailed from the city and based in London, said he always cared deeply about the success of West Bengal.
The two-day event, held in the sprawling International Convention Centre built by a government body, also saw a string of foreign delegates holding B2B meetings with local business leaders during the day.moneycontrol