On 13th October 2015, Amcham India (Eastern and Karnataka Region) held an interactive session with the visiting Government delegation from West Bengal in Bangalore at The Taj Gateway. It was led by Dr. Amit Mitra, Minister-in-Charge of Finance, Excise, Commerce & Industries, Public Enterprise, Industrial Reconstruction, Commerce and Industry, Government of West Bengal, along with the Principal Secretary Urban Development Mr. Debashish Sen, Principal Secretary S. Kishore, Department of Commerce & Industries, Resident Commissioner Dr. Krishna Gupta, Managing Director, WBIDC and members of his cabinet. The program focused on understanding the approach and programs of the West Bengal Government towards investment in the State particularly in the areas of Smart Infrastructure, Future of IT and ITeS and Smart Cities and West Bengal Investment Opportunities. Dr. Mitra and his colleagues shared important updates in these areas on Expansion plans of different organizations in the State.
Mr. Debashish Sen mentioned the details of four smart cities projects as allocated to West Bengal under the centrally announced Smart Cities program. These are New town, Rajarhat, Salt Lake; Bidhannagar and Durgapur. In addition to this he mentioned that the Government was also developing the following cities: Siliguri, 84 acres focus would be on Health and Education; Bolpur, 135 acres focus would be on Art and Culture; Asansol, 59 acres focus would be on Industrial city; Kalyani, 50 acres focus on Analytics city; Dumurjala, 39 acres focus on Sports city; Baruipur, 86 acres focus on Wellness and Senior citizens.
Dr. Mitra also highlighted the following developments: Maritime Ports & developments of highways being planned with funding from ADB. Mining, tourism, food processing, 8 built up IT parks were also available, optic fiber cable based network project led by Webel, 2 electronic manufacturing cities in Naihati & Palta being developed.
During the Q&A session members asked about the power situation. Dr. Mitra said that West Bengal had surplus power. Questions were asked on the image of WB, the minister responded “perception is worse than reality.” Members asked about the labor scene in WB. The Minister said solutions were being derived by working with the Trade Union and that currently there was no labor problems in the state. He said that WB Grew by 10.48% as against India’s growth of 7.5%. He said that the GDP was 10.46%, and that West Bengal was the 5th largest economy in the country.
Dr. Mitra also proposed to have AmCham member companies participate as Summit Partners under a common pavilion, in the upcoming West Bengal Global Business Summit (7-9 January 2016).
The American companies that were interested in investing in the State had through this interactive session able to make direct contact with the relevant departments of the West Bengal Government.
Regional Director Eastern Region, Amada Kidwai introduced Dr. Mitra and his cabinet to Members of AmCham. The welcome remarks was given by Mr. Inderjit Sial, Chairman of AmCham Karnataka. Concluding remarks and vote of thanks by Mr. Indraneel Chaudhury, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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