The seventh edition of the two-day Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) attracted investments worth Rs 3.76 lakh-crore involving 188 MoUs and Letters of Intent (LoI) across numerous sectors, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the valedictory function of the two-day event, Banerjee said the summit also saw the announcement of a new policy for the development of the state.
“The summit has received investment proposals worth Rs 3.76 lakh crore across numerous sectors. In all, 188 MoUs and LoIs have been signed,” she said.
Batting for the small-scale sector, Banerjee said, “Small is beautiful. It is the small-scale sector which creates employment. Now villages are the growth centres of the state. The state’s leather industry has created 10 lakh jobs,” she said.
On job generation, the chief minister said when the country’s employment rate is declining by 40 per cent, the job creation rate in West Bengal is growing at 42 per cent. “Our growth is sky-high”, she added.
In the last edition of the annual summit, investment proposals worth Rs 3.42 lakh-crore was generated.
Taking a dig at the cashless economy propagated by the Centre, the chief minister said, “Cashless economy cannot create any employment. It is the small-scale sector which does that,” she added.
Banerjee said there are around 90 lakh self-help groups in the state. “Our women are our asset,” she said.
She said in a democratic system, everyone should work together for the development of the people. “Bengal shows unity in diversity and there is communal harmony,” she added.
Some of the major investments announced are Rs 4,000 crore in IT and ITeS, Rs 1,314 crore in agri and allied sector, Rs 7,933 crore in the healthcare sector over three years and Rs 1000 crore for a phosphatic fertiliser plant, among several others.
On the prospects of West Bengal, she said, “This state is the ultimate destination. Bengal is the gateway to northeast India. It also shares borders with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. Singapore and Bangkok are also not far from the state”.
West Bengal will become the economic powerhouse in the coming days, she said, adding the state tops in terms of ease of doing business, skill development and MSME.
She advocated that the IT sector should grow in the cold climes of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik.
Several investments have been also announced for the textiles sector in the state.
The Bengal Global Business Summit, an annual affair, was attended by several hundred companies from 35 countries, including the UK, the US, Australia, Korea, Japan, Germany and France. PTI