About 65 per cent of the State's investment comes from private sector
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Sunday that West Bengal “is emerging as the new investment destination” adding that it “rekindles optimism about the future of the State”.
Citing figures, Mr. Mukherjee said: “As of December 2011, the State had about 900 live investment projects worth Rs.6.11 lakh crore. It has a share of 4.4 per cent of the total investment announced by the government and private sector in India.”
Speaking at a conference organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Minister pointed out that a majority of this investment had come from the private sector.
“About 65 percent of the total investment in West Bengal comes from the private sector. It is a clear indicator that the industrialists and prospective investors are looking at the State with hope and expectation,” he said.
‘Mamata matching expectations'
Mr. Mukherjee said he was pleased that the “the new government, under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, is responding to these new aspirations and expectations of the people.”
The State has attracted new investment worth nearly Rs.58,000 crore. The manufacturing sector has got the major share at about 36.5 per cent, followed by electricity (29.4 per cent), service sector (18.9 per cent), mining (8.6 per cent) and real estate (6.1 per cent), he said.
Emphasising the importance of developing infrastructure for the growth of the economy, Mr. Mukherjee reiterated that the sector would require investment worth $ 1 trillion or Rs.50 lakh crore during the 12 Plan period. He pointed out that West Bengal had an edge over other States in the power sector.
“The power sector in West Bengal is one of the best in the country. While the normal power deficit is less than two percent, the peak-hour power deficit is minimal in the State and this could be utilised as it is an important infrastructural input,” he said.
Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn said the State's economic growth has lagged behind India's GDP growth over the last 10 years.
“The State should understand and promote competitive sectors like textiles, leather products and food products,” he said.
State Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee, who was also present at the event, reiterated the debt burden that the State is facing and requested that the Centre intervene.
Mr. Chatterjee has also written a second letter to the Centre asking for a rollback on the tax on gold proposed in the Union Budget, which he handed over to Mr. Mukherjee during the day.