Mamata Banerjee hard sells state in Bengal Business summit

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. Source Twitter

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. Source Twitter

"Bengal knows that it must prosper", Ambani said at the 18-storey Biswa Bangla convention centre where a two-day business conference started on Tuesday.

Reliance Industries Ltd has committed Rs 5,000 crore for the state over few years, while the JSW Group has pledged Rs 10,000 crore over four to five years.

Adventz Group Chairman Saroj Poddar also announced an investment of Rs 1,000 crore in the state.

Steel baron L N Mittal assured that his family foundation, L N Mittal Foundation, will invest in Bengal if such an opportunity arises in the future.

Mr. Ambani shared the dais with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Finance Minister Amit Mitra, steel magnate L.N. Mittal, property tycoon N. Hiranandani, banker Uday Kotak, Spicejet chairman Ajay Singh and Kishore Biyani, among others. This is one of the best summits we could have in the state.

That did not deter the industrialists to heap praise on Bengal with Indias richest man Mukesh Ambani calling it nothing short of a "miracle" that the state has adopted a change in mindset to welcome industry.

Notably, the students of the university launched a sit-in since Monday, protesting the provisions of the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Bill 2017 that allegedly seeks an apolitical students' union but students allege is an attempt to dissolve students' union. "Under Didi (Mamata Banerjee), West Bengal is becoming the Best Bengal".

Reminding investors that West Bengal was the gateway to the northeastern states and neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, Banerjee made a passionate appeal to them to come to the state. According to her, the state has attained political stability which is essential for industry.

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.

Bengal Global Business Summit 2018 is all set to begin today.

"If she could guarantee the industrialists about land acquisition, West Bengal would have seen the biggest industrialisation in manufacturing sector", said a business head who was present at the meeting. I assure one thing. "The state government tries to fool everyone in the name of business summits". Poland had brought the largest delegation, followed by Korea, Italy and China.

Ambani said two years ago at this same event Reliance had announced investment of Rs 4,500 crore but ended up investing Rs 15,000 crore, nearly triple the initial sum. "We are embarking on an ambitious project of connecting Bengal with optical fibre", he said.

On Jio's expansion, Ambani said, "Our current Jio network covers 1,000 towns and almost 39,000 villages in the state". Reliance had committed an investment of Rs 4,500 crore in Bengal... We are also committed to invest and develop West Bengal as the next Electronic Hub of the country and also the main manufacturing state-of-the-art technology products'.

Starting in 2015 through a public Wi-Fi Experience Zone in Park Street, has enmassed over 12 million customers in the state, Ambani said.

He said the digital economy will bring prosperity at more than double the speed of the traditional economy.

"Bengal has always been the cradle of super-intelligent people".

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