Bengal Global Business Summit helped in improving state economy: Amit Mitra hits out at Dhankhar

Expressing concern about alleged fiscal irregularities and patronage in organising the business summit, the governor had sought to know from the state government details of the amount spent.

Published: 30th September 2020 10:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2020 10:40 AM   |  A+A-

Amit Mitra

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra. (File | PTI)


KOLKATA: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra refuted allegations of Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) being a damp squib and informed Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar that the annual summit has helped in improving the GDP and also in enhancing investors perception about the state.

Expressing concern about alleged fiscal irregularities and patronage in organising the business summit, the governor had sought to know from the state government details of the amount spent in holding the event.

Last month, Dhankhar had also sought to know about the achievements made in the BGBS -- actual investments made and jobs created.

In a letter giving a detailed reply to the governor's queries, Mitra said, "You are aware that when we took office in 2011, our government inherited a massive debt burden. The economy was in doldrums, and an unprecedented capital flight had taken place from our state."

"Within a few years, we were able to put the economy back on the track, the Debt-GDP ratio was brought down steadily, and green shoots of new investments in Small, Medium and Large Industries had begun, thereby bringing in government revenue buoyancy and employment, as well," the finance minister said in his letter to Dhankhar dated September 24.

It was released to media on Wednesday.

Mitra stated that it was in this backdrop that the state government decided to introduce, Bengal Global Business Summit, which would help in bringing in optimistic reality to the fore and also help in improving investors' perception about the state.

"It would also bring out the proactive nature of the government to attract investments and thereby, generate employment," he said.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at NITI Aayog, where he expressed happiness over states organizing investors summit, Mitra said BGBS has received accolades both nationally and globally for its "unique innovative approach" in attracting investments from various parts of the country and the globe.

Listing out cumulative Investments Proposals received in BGBS, 2015, through BGBS, 2019, to the tune of Rs 12,32,603 crores, the minister said, "Around 50.27 per cent investment proposals between BGBS 2015 and BGBS, 2018, went into implantation mode."

"For BGBS 2019, already Rs 71,646 crore is under implementation. The employment generated through these investments is to the tune of 28 lakh already," Mitra said.

The results of the developmental policies of the state government along with the impact of the BGBS has led to the growth of the state's GDP from Rs 4.6 lakh crore in 2010-11 to Rs 12.5 lakh crore in 2019-20, he said.

"Similarly, tax collection has grown from Rs 21,228 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 65,806 crores in 2019-20. The Debt-GDP ratio has been brought down from 40.65 per cent in 2011 to 33.3 per cent in 2019-20," Mitra said.

Mitra's letter comes in the backdrop of Dhankhar expressing his doubt about investment generated on the ground as less than the spending incurred in holding the event, which the Mamata Banerjee government has been organizing since 2015 to attract investments to the state.

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 refuted by Finance Minister Amit Mitra.

The opposition had also demanded publication of a white paper on the actual investment that came from the summit.

The next edition of BGBS is scheduled to be held from December 15 to 17, the finance minister had announced before the coronavirus pandemic set in.


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