Notwithstanding the economic downturn and frequent run-ins with the centre, West Bengal managed to garner investment proposals of Rs 2.84 lakh crores during 2019 but the jury is out on actual realisation. The opposition has been pointing to the dearth of jobs, despite the hefty investment claims by the state government in the last few years. During the fifth edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), held in February 2019, nearly 86 MoUs were signed, while some of the major corporates, including Reliance Industries, GECL, JSW Group, ITC Ltd, DP World, Flipkart and Coca Cola, announced their plans and future projects in the state.
ITC, headquartered in Kolkata, proposed to make fresh investments of Rs 1,700 crores in the near future, taking its recent total investments to Rs 5,700 crores in the state. During the event, Reliance Industries which had pumped in Rs 28,000 crores in the state across its projects said that the group firmed up further investment of Rs 10,000 crores. Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA also announced that it would explore the possibility of setting up a store in the eastern metropolis while during the year, Amazon opened its fifth and largest fulfilment centre in West Bengal which would double its storage capacity in the state.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced another 100 acres of land for the ‘Silicon Valley’ in New Town have been acquired and companies like Capgemini, Tech Mahindra, Cognizant and the Indian Statistical Institute have applied to set up facilities there. Some of the companies which had already taken up land in the proposed hub are Reliance Jio, TCS and RP Sanjiv Goenka Group’s First Source. IT major Wipro had announced to build a second campus in Kolkata, proposing to invest Rs 500 crores that will create 10,000 jobs.
In 2018, the state had netted over Rs 2.19 lakh crore of investment proposals. However, the chink in the armour remained the realisation of these business announcements, although Banerjee claimed over 50% of over Rs 10 lakh crores of investment proposals, received by the state in the earlier four editions of the summit, were under implementation. “Every year the state government would announce huge investment proposals. It was important to follow up the proposals and give them sufficient time to be implemented before going for fresh proposals,” Banerjee had said on the floor of the state assembly. However, the opposition Congress and the BJP said that the announcement was an admission that the state government had ‘failed’ to attract any investment in the state.
(By Dibyendu Chakrabarti and Bappaditya Chatterjee)
Real estate sector could generate 1.28 crore man-days in West Bengal
The real estate sector is expected to generate 1.28 crore of man-days in West Bengal in future, state finance minister Amit Mitra has said
November 29, 2019: The real estate sector is the second-largest employer in India and West Bengal for both, skilled and unskilled workers and is expected to generate 1.28 crore of man-days in the state in the future, the state’s finance minister Amit Mitra said, on November 28, 2019. Since 2011, the real estate sector has seen a CAGR of 15.7% and investments of Rs 40,000 crores in West Bengal, where 1.75 lakh housing units have come up, creating job opportunities for 40 lakh people, the minister said.
Speaking at an event organised by CREDAI and CBRE, he said in West Bengal, low-cost housing comprised 60% to 70% of the total residential projects completed in the state. He also urged investors to set up ancillary industries, which feed the real estate sector. “There are 250 units at present, this should go up to 1,000,” he said.
Four-fold rise on physical infrastructure expenditure in West Bengal: CM
Expenditure on physical infrastructure in West Bengal has quadrupled since 2011, the state’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee, has said, in a Facebook post
June 12, 2018: West Bengal has witnessed a four-fold rise in its expenditure on physical infrastructure, since the Trinamool Congress formed the government in 2011, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, on June 10, 2018. Recently, Rs 18,000 crores of new infrastructure projects have been allocated, in addition to the Rs 25,755 crores of budgetary allocation for capital expenditure, for the current financial year, she said.
“Infrastructure development is going on at a rapid pace in Bengal. In fact, expenditure on physical infrastructure in the state has increased almost four-fold since 2011,” Banerjee wrote on her Facebook wall. The Rs 18,000 crores of new infrastructure projects include flyovers, rural and urban drinking water, roads and bridges, power, affordable housing and irrigation, she said. “These will open up huge investment opportunities and generate employment in the state,” the chief minister said.