BGBS 2019: Mukesh Ambani’s ‘Mamata’ for Bengal, Before 2019 Elections
| Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief, IOP, Kolkata - 12 Feb 2019

BGBS 2019:

Mukesh Ambani’s ‘Mamata’ for Bengal, Before 2019 Elections

West Bengal Becoming Best Bengal: Mukesh Ambani at BGBS

 

  • Sajjan Jindal: Doubling the capacity of cement plant in West Bengal
  • Niranjan Hiranandani: Rs 2000 crore worth of fresh investments
  • Sanjeev Goenka: “We have invested Rs 23,000 crores in Bengal”
  • Y K Modi, GEECL: Rs 15,000 crores investment over the next 5 years
  • Sanjiv Puri, MD, ITC: Company is taking total investment to Rs 5,500 crores
  • Adani: Group will set up a port and logistics park in Bengal
  • The Chatterjee Group starting 3 new research centres in the areas of Neuroscience, Quantum Technologies, AI and Blockchain
  • Rudra Chatterjee, President, ICC: health-city project at a cost of Rs 350 crores in Siliguri
  • Kolkata: The biggest tea auction market in India

 

Report by Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief, Indian Observer Post

Kolkata, Feb 12, 2019: Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries has said that he plans to further invest Rs 10,000 crores in the digital space of the state. Speaking at the 5th edition of The Bengal Global Business Summit 2019, Ambani said that they are the biggest investor in the digital space of West Bengal with Rs 28,000 crores so far. The company's investments in the state already account for one-tenth of the total investments in the country so far, he added. 

The plan to invest Rs 10,000 crores more is already under implementation. He added that in 2016 when he first attended the summit, Reliance's investment in the state was to the tune of Rs 4,500 crores.  

Ambani spoke about Reliance Industries' role in the development of West Bengal. The Reliance Industries Chairman said that their aim to cover 100% of the state's population with the Jio network is "progressing at a fast pace" and that they aim to meet their goal within 2019. He also said that they plan to transform every home in West Bengal into a smart home and that Jio's Gigefibre project to this end "has progressed well".

Mukesh Ambani also brought up Reliance Retail and said that the company operates 500 stores and 46 Petro Retail Outlets across 400 cities and towns of the state. He added, "West Bengal is poised to become the logistics hub of the East with plans to attract investments of Rs 5,000 crores by 2020. This can create direct and indirect jobs for 50,000 people.”

"Jio and Reliance Retail will shortly launch a unique New Commerce platform, which will bring win-win benefits to consumers, retailers and produces across the country, this platform will enrich and empower as many as 3 crore small shopkeepers," said Mukesh Ambani.

Ambani mentioned that they have also set up Jio Points, which are direct distribution channels that will cater to the growing rural market. There are already 350 Jio Points in Bengal, which the company is targeting to increase to 1,000 by the end of the year.

He then thanked the state government for allotting land for their Data Centre project in Kolkata. "I assure you that we will implement this project speedily and make it as good as the ones in Silicon Valley," Ambani added.

Ambani took the stage to congratulate CM Mamata Banerjee for transforming West Bengal into "Best Bengal". "Bengal's GDP has crossed Rs 10 lac crores. It was less than Rs 4 lac crores at the beginning of this decade, when you took reins of this state in your able hands," he added.

Mukesh Ambani finally added, "The deepening and broadening of relationship between Bengal and Reliance will continue for years to come. Reliance's commitment to be an unflinching partner in your dream of a Shonar Bangla is unassailable."

Finance Minister Amit Mitra said that approximately 40 pc of the total investment intentions the BGBS received so far are under various stages of implementation. From 2015-2019, total investment intentions valued at INR 9.47 trillion and he added that IKEA is looking at its second store in the country in Kolkata.

Significant multinational companies like Alstom, Accor, D P World, IKEA, Decathlon, Capgemini, Schneider Electric, Oerlikon, Metro, Sharaf Group, IBM, Dell, BT, and P&G were present at the summit.

Sajjan Jindal of JSW Steel declared, “We are doubling the capacity of our cement plant in West Bengal. You don’t have to think twice before investing in the state. We are also setting up a new museum in Bengal which will depict the history of Partition.”

Niranjan Hiranandani, MD of the Hiranandani Group announced Rs 2000 crores worth of fresh investments. “H-Energy has completed the land acquisition and recently received permission to build a pipeline. The company aims to deliver gas to Haldia by 2022. This will bring multi-crores investments pour in on first day of Bengal Global Business Summit, down cost of manufacturing in the state and also provide gas to cities. We have already made Rs 3000 crores worth investments in the state. We will invest Rs 2,000 crores more in the next two years.”

The inaugural session of the 5th Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) Thursday saw industry heavyweights make several multi-crore investment announcements for the state while the government signed MoUs with Italy, Germany and the Republic of Korea.

Addressing the Summit, Sanjiv Goenka said, “We have invested Rs 23,000 crores in Bengal. Bengal is in business, Bengal means business.”

Rajan Bharti Mittal said that Bengal is leading in GDP growth, agriculture and education. Both Bengal and CM Banerjee are ready for business.

Y K Modi, GEECL, said that the company had invested upto Rs 2,000 crores till now, and plan to invest Rs 15,000 crores over the next 5 yeaRs “We will provide clean gas not only in Asansol-Durgapur region but also in Kolkata and other cities. The Naxalite problem in Purulia is now over and business can be initiated from the grass root level,” said Modi.

Sanjiv Puri, MD ITC, said that the company is taking their total investment in Bengal to Rs 5,500 crores.

DP World, a global port operator, had committed to develop Kulpi Port at an investment of Rs 3,000 crores.

Adani Group Chairperson Karan Adani said that the Group will set up a port and logistics park in Bengal.

Purnendu Chatterjee, Chairperson of The Chatterjee Group said that the Group had made a promise to set up a value-added park in Haldia. “We are also starting 3 new research centres in the areas of Neuroscience, Quantum Technologies, AI and Blockchain. These will be operational in the next 2 months,” Chatterjee added.

Sandip Somany, VC & MD, Hindustan Sanitaryware & Industries Ltd. and President, FICCI, remarked that West Bengal had turned itself into a land of opportunities and its work has also been recognized by the United Nations.

Rudra Chatterjee, President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and MD, Luxmi Group said that West Bengal is spending well on health and education. The start-ups like Manyavar and Wow Momo have become the favourites of private equity and venture capital firms.

“We are contemplating a health-city project at a cost of Rs 350 crores in Siliguri,” Chatterjee added.

In the last few years, West Bengal has made great strides in several sectors including infrastructure, economy, governance, education and training of the youth. West Bengal's Kanyashree Prakalpa initiative, which seeks to improve the life and status of the girls from economically backward families, has been honoured the 1st Prize in United Nations Public Service Award 2017 and United Nations WSIS Prize 2016 Champion in E-Government Category.  

The state ensures food security to 90% population with Khadya Sathi - the flagship food security scheme covering 8.59 crores people. The macro-economic indicators show big improvements in the last seven years West Bengal's Growth Rating Debt Stock has come down from 14.65% in 2000-11 to 9.61% in 2017-18. The state’s Tax Revenue to GSDP increased has also increased from 4.85% to 5.29% during 2011-18. 

Creation of infrastructure related to Information Technology has increased by more than 16 times during the period with a total outlay of Rs 293.97 crores in 2016-17.  

As many as 1.5 lac students have been provided training in IT and ITES while 1000 Youth Computer Training Centres have become operational under PPP mode in the state. The government has also supported about 30 lac people with housing infrastructure. 

The West Bengal government has established MSME facilitation centres in all districts to facilitate entrepreneurs in setting up of new industries. As many as 262 ITIs with an intake capacity of 71,379 trainees are functioning.  

With Silpa Sathi, the state has set up a single window system to facilitate the entrepreneurs by providing a single platform for getting required approvals. 

West Bengal's capital Kolkata is the biggest tea auction market in the country.  

With a GSDP of USD 155.32 billion, West Bengal is the fourth largest contributor to India’s services GDP and sixth largest contributor to India’s manufacturing GDP.  

The BGBS 2018 had attracted the participation of over 4000 delegates from across India and 32 countries. Bengal Global Business Summit 2019 witnessed significant overseas participation. Among the 36 participating countries are the UK, France, Czech Republic, South Korea and countries of Latin America.

(DIDHITI GHOSH is a psychologist, journalist, script-writer, professor and a certified conference interpreter of the Spanish language. She is the Bureau Chief of INDIAN OBSERVER POST based in Kolkata. Contact: didhiti.24@gmail.com


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