KOLKATA: Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday asked for the spending details of the annual business summit of the West Bengal government from Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra, days after he asked for the same information from a top-level officer but got no response from him.
He also indicated that the state government wants to hide the information.
Dhankhar had on August 1 sought the details of the amount spent in holding Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) from the Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), expressing concern about alleged fiscal irregularities and patronage in organising the programme.
He had also said that there was an assertion that the investment generated on the ground is less than the spending incurred in holding the event, which the Mamata Banerjee administration has been organising since 2015 to attract investments to the state.
In a tweet, the governor said, "As the information sought as regards BENGAL GLOBAL BUSINESS SUMMIT from ACS Finance @MamataOfficial has not been forthcoming, have sought the same from Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra.
Finance Minister should be proud to share achievement.
Why hide from the governor?" Dhankhar said that he is confident that Mitra would be prompt and accurate in providing him with the data he has sought.
"Delay indicates information is being 'hidden'-what is sought to be 'hidden' is always big news. Orchestrated statements and advertisements have to be on firm fact foundation- something missing @MamataOfficial," the governor tweeted.
In a series of tweets on August 1, Dhankhar had said that he wanted to know from the Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) how much money has been spent each year since 2016 in holding the summit and the name of the agencies through which the spending has been made for organizing BGBS.
He had also sought to know "the name of event company for BGBS and whether payment was made directly or through FICCI, besides the number of MoUs signed, investment and jobs promised in each of the annual events.
Dhankhars last query was on the achievements made in the BGBS -- actual investments made and jobs created.
Opposition parties such as the BJP and the CPI(M) earlier separately expressed scepticism over holding the summit claiming it did not yield any worthwhile investment from names that matter in the industry, which was strongly rebutted by Finance Minister Amit Mitra.
The opposition had also demanded publication of a white paper on the actual investment that came from the summit.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said in the Assembly that 50 per cent of the investment proposals that were received in the five editions of BGBS are already in the process of implementation.
The next edition of BGBS would be held from December 15 to 17, the finance minister had announced before the coronavirus pandemic set in.