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After governor questions Bengal biz summits, govt says 50% proposals in implementation mode

Finance Minister Amit Mitra says proposals worth over Rs 12 lakh crore received at Bengal Global Business Summits between 2015 & 2019, 28 lakh jobs generated.

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Kolkata: Responding to the questions Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar raised about the Bengal Global Business Summits (BGBS), the state’s Finance, Industries and Commerce Minister Amit Mitra has said nearly half of the total investment proposals received by the Mamata Banerjee government since the first summit in 2015 are now in ‘implementation mode’.

The BGBS is a flagship event organised by the Trinamool Congress government annually to attract investment to West Bengal, but this is the first time the government has given out official data about the outcomes of the summit.

Governor Dhankhar had written two letters in August — one to Mitra on 8 August and the other to CM Mamata Banerjee on 25 August — seeking details of investment proposals received through the BGBS, their implementation and the employment thus generated.

Mitra’s response, dated 24 September, states that 50.27 per cent of the investment proposals received between 2015 and 2018 have gone into ‘implementation mode’, and that 28 lakh jobs have been generated through these summits.

Mitra’s letter — accessed by ThePrint — states that in the five summits so far, the West Bengal government has drawn investment proposals worth Rs 12.32 lakh crore.

“The cumulative investment proposals received in BGBS 2015 through BGBS 2019 amounted to Rs 12,32,603 crore. You would be happy to know that between BGBS 2015 and BGBS 2018, 50.27 per cent of the investment proposals went into implementation mode,” the letter reads.

The minister in his response further added that more than 28 lakh jobs were generated over these years.

“For BGBS 2019, already Rs 71,646 crore is under implementation. The employment generated through these investments is to the tune of 28,00,000 already,” he stated.

“The impact of the BGBS is evinced by the fact that the state GDP has climbed from Rs 4.6 lakh crore in 2010-11 (the year before we came to office) to Rs 12.5 lakh crore in 2019-20. Similarly, the tax collection of the state government has grown from Rs 21,228 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 65,806 crore in 2019-20,” he added.

Also read: ‘Mamata’s trusted officers don’t retire’ — chief secretary joins list as industry body head

Governor still smells a scam

Governor Dhankhar acknowledged the finance minister’s response in a tweet on 24 September, but insisted that BGBS was “ballooning into a scam” and it was “apparent from FM’s response after 50 days”.

Calling the response a “PR exercise”, Dhankhar said the critical issues raised in his letters to Mitra and CM Banerjee remained unaddressed.

The governor also demanded a white paper be published with the details of expenses, investments, MoUs signed, implementation and jobs related to the summit.

Also read: CM Mamata and Governor Dhankhar in another spat, this time over his note to Bengal DGP


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