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Bengal plans ‘smart theme’ cities, seeks investments

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on September 10, 2015

Amit Mitra, Commerce, Industries and Finance Minister for West Bengal, addressing the AGM of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata on Thursday. He is flanked by Sutanu Ghosh, Senior Vice-President; Alok Roy, President and Ambarish Dasgupta, President designate of the Bengal Chamber, look on ASHOKE CHAKRABARTY

25% of space will be reserved for the theme, says Mitra





West Bengal Commerce, Industries and Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, today made a fervent pitch for investments in the State, including across the six “smart theme” cities it was planning to set up.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mitra said the six “smart themed” cities include one on sports at Howrah (Kolkata’s twin city across the river Hooghly); a senior citizens city at Baruipur (29 km from Kolkata ); one health and education city in Siliguri (in North Bengal); a industrial city in Asansol (206 km from the State capital); for art and culture at Bolpur (155 km) and an analytics city at Kalyani (51 km).

At least 25 per cent of the space in these areas (themed cities) will be reserved for the theme while commercial development can be carried out in the remaining parts.

According to him, companies like HP (Hewlett Packard); Pratt & Whitney, EY and Cisco have evinced interest in participating in development of these “themed cities” or in areas of e-learning, e-health, telemedicines, etc.

“There are six smart themed cities that we plan to set up in the coming days. I urge The Bengal Chamber to explore the possibility of collaboration with some of these companies,” he said. The Bengal Chamber, on its part, has taken up the development of the analytics city at Kalyani. Investment scenario

At present, the State has seen investments to the tune of ₹87,000 crore which have either fructified or are in the process of being done.

Bengal, had obtained investments to the tune of ₹2,43,000 crore at the international summit concluded earlier this year.

According to Mitra, the State has taken several steps to ensure “ease of doing business” here. These include faster and time-bound clearances, quick approvals and deemed clearances if the State government officials fail to provide renewals within a stipulated time frame.

Plan expenditure

Claiming credit for development and growth in the State, the Minister pointed out that the State Plan Expenditure has seen a 311 per cent growth in the four years of Trinamool Congress coming to power here. State Plan expenditure grew from ₹14,100 crore (approx) in 2010-11 (the last year when the Left Front was in power) to ₹ 44,000 crore in 2014-15.

Similarly, social infrastructure growth grew 301 per cent during this period (2010-11 to 2014-15) from ₹6,845 crore to over ₹20,600 crore. The growth in the agri, allied and rural development has been to the tune of 547 per cent.

The State’s capital expenditure, which had seen a negative growth of 26 per cent in 2010-11, has in the four years of the new government seen a 600 per cent growth to over ₹13,300 crore in 2014-15, he claimed.

Published on September 10, 2015
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