Ease of doing business – Bengal rose from rank 30 to rank 3: Mamata Banerjee at Horasis Asia meet
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today addressed a special international session at the 2017 edition of Horasis Asia Meeting, Asia’s foremost gathering of senior leaders from businesses and governments.
It is being co-hosted by the Bengal Government and the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
This is the first time that this prestigious business summit is being held in India. Horasis is a Zurich-based think tank. About 350 delegates from 65 countries, other than from India are participating in the event.
Highlights of the Chief Minister’s speech:
Bengal is progressing like never before. It is emerging as the industrial destination.
Six and half years ago, the 34-year old Left Front rule came to an end. During their rule, perception about Bengal was not good; but now it has changed.
Our work culture has changed. Earlier, the mandays lost was about 78 lakh. Now it is absolutely zero. There are no strikes in Bengal. We maintain best of relations with the industry, working class and the people at large.
In Bengal, we have our own infrastructural facilities. We have built flyovers, bridges, power stations. From social sector to health, education sector to youth, agriculture to industry sector – we are surging ahead.
You will be happy to know, in the parameter of ‘ease of doing business’, Bengal was earlier ranked 30. Three years ago, the rank improved to 15. Now, we are third in India. Out of 372 parameters, we have fulfilled 336 and in a few months we will fulfill the rest.
We are facing a legacy and it takes time to undo it. I believe, there is no substitute to hard work, dedication, devotion, sincerity, punctuality. We have the vision, the mission and we show it in our action.
We met the Chairman of Horasis in Munich and they had made a commitment to come to India. But why will you choose Bengal? Strategically, geographically, economically, politically, Bengal is safe and sound.
Bengal is a gateway to south-east Asia. From here you can expand your business to Bangladesh – our neighbouring country, who we love so much. From Bengal you can expand to the eight north-eastern States. You can reach Bhutan and Nepal also. They are just half-an-hour away via flight from Bengal. There is easy access to Thailand, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur.
Bengal believes in unity and togetherness – people of all castes, creed, religions live here in peace. We believe there can never be any geographical boundary for art or culture.
Advantage of Bengal is our skill, our talented young generation. The new generation is our asset. I am proud of our young generation. In skill development, we are No. 1 for four years. In small scale industries, we are No. 1 in India. We have started e-services in every sphere.
Our industrial growth is not bad. We are trying. GDP growth rate of India for 2016-17 was 7.1%. The GSDP growth of Bengal was 9.1%. In the industry sector also, India’s growth rate was 5.6%, and that of Bengal was 7.2%.
Bengal has the potential. We have lent investable capital to the tune of Rs 1.82 lakh crore. When we came in our GDP was 4.5 lakh crores. It has doubled. Our revenue earnings has doubled now. We have created 81 lakh new employment in six years and more than 100 crore mandays.
Bengal has several advantages – a strategic location, geographical advantage, peaceful situation in the State. We have best of relations with bordering countries. In Bengal, we are all united. We do not believe in divisive politics.
We have the land bank. We do not capture land forcefully. We have land map and land use policy. We have a surplus power bank. We give all facilities and support to the industry.
We have recently hosted the Under-17 FIFA World Cup football. The quarter final, semi final and final matches were held in Kolkata. FIFA showered us with praises for the superb and excellent arrangement.
In Bengal, we are committed to social empowerment also. Ninety per cent people in the State receive direct benefits from the State. We take care of the poor and disadvantaged people. This year, our flagship ‘Kanyashree’ scheme for the empowerment of girls, received the first prize at UN Public Service Award.
We have set up 46 new multi super speciality hospitals within six years. We have set up Mother and Child Hubs. We give free cycles, books and scholarships to the students.
If you want to invest, enough scope is there in every sector – engineering, jute, textile, servicing, IT, mining, transportation, agricultural marketing, manufacturing. We have deep forests, deep sea, even the Hills. There is enough scope for tourism. If you invest in Bengal, you will definitely go for re-investment.
I will request all the delegates present here to come and join the Bengal Global Business Summit on 16-17 January 2018. More than 30 countries are coming to this summit. We have set up an international convention centre, an eco-tourism park. Even a Financial Hub has been set up.
We believe in sweet relations with the industry. Our captains of industry will tell you the advantages of doing business in Bengal. We can take concrete decisions for investments in Bengal at the Bengal Global Business Summit in January.
My earnest request to you is that do not forget Bengal. Make this State your ultimate destination.