Mamata seeks global investment into ‘peaceful’ Bengal

Kolkata, Dec 7: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday urged entrepreneurs globally to invest in the state since it was now “peaceful” and showed economic progress.

“The state GDP (gross domestic product) in the first quarter of this financial year has grown faster as compared to the nation. In the first quarter of 2012-13, the country’s GDP grew by 5.5 percent, while during the same period, Bengal’s growth was 6.94 percent,” Banerjee said in her speech at the PanIIT Global Conference here.

The chief minister said that during the one-and-half years of Trinamool Congress rule, loss of mandays had come down significantly, while the cash-strapped state recorded a 35 percent growth in revenue collection in the first six months of this fiscal.

“Our financial condition is very bad as we are facing the legacy of 34 years of Left Front rule. It (reviving the financial condition) was a great challenge. It was possible because of the hard work we put in. I believe within a few months, Bengal will show the way,” she said.

The chief minister wooed industrialists, claiming that the state had an investment-friendly environment.

The state government had already rolled out its IT policy, set up a land bank and launched a web-based employment bank, she said.

The Trinamool Congress chief said Bengal would be an attractive investment destination as currently, it was a “peaceful” state.

“You may be in America; you may be in Egypt; you may be in Germany. Please take care of the motherland (Bengal) and for the country as well I believe that your action and vision will help us,” Banerjee pointed out as she tried to hardsell the state before top global leaders from different sectors.

On the first day of the three-day event, Warwick Manufacturing Group director Lord Kumar Bhattacharya, US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell, Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani and ITC chief Y.C. Deveshwar delivered speeches, among others.

Banerjee claimed that “all problems in the state” that were festering earlier has been solved.

“Darjeeling is smiling and the problems are solved. In Jangalmahal (the Maoist affected districts in south Bengal), all the problems have been settled,” Banerjee said, adding that West Bengal was now the right place for investment.

IANS