National

Mukesh Ambani promises Rs 5k cr investment in W Bengal

ABHISHEK LAW KOLKATA | Updated on January 17, 2018

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurating the Bengal Business Global Summit in West Bengal on Tuesday.

Reliance Industries will invest Rs 5,000 crore in the next three years in "non-Jio" businesses in Bengal, its Chairman, Mukesh Ambani said here today.

According to him, the investments will come through areas such as retail petroleum outlets.

This could mean setting up on new petrol pumps or making operarional some of the existing ones that have remained shut for quite sometime now.

"We will invest Rs 5,000 crore in the non-Jio business in West Bengal in the areas of retail petroleum outlets in the state in the next three years", Ambani said while speaking at the Bengal Business Global Summit - the annual investors meet organised by the West Bengal government.



MANUFACTURING FACILITY

According to him, Reliance Industries is also planning an electronics manufacturing facility in Bengal. The facility would look at mobile phone making and also manufacturing of set top boxes (STBs) and television sets.

"We plan to have a next gen electronics making facility for mobiles, STBs and TVs," Ambani said.



JIO SERVICES

With the diversified conglomerate interested in participating in the "Bengal growth story"; Ambani promised expansion of Jio services in the state.

Apart from better connectivity in villages, Jio's increased optic fibre network will ensure coverage and connectivity across all educational institutions including schools, colleges and universities.

"We intend to cover all 100 per cent of villages in Bengal through our fibre network by 2019. We will also connect all educational institutions and healthcare facilities in the state," Ambani said.

Against a commited investment (in its backend infrastructure) of Rs 4,500 crore; Reliance has already invested Rs 15,000 crore in the last two years. Investments were primarily towards setting up the Jio network.

In that sense, Reliance had emerged as one of the largest investor in the state.

Priority would also be given to push West Bengal as a priority destination for greater penetration of Jio phones for better 4G adiption.

Of a near 9 billion population in Bengal, nearly 1.2 crore are Jio users.



PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Reliance would also look at setting up 'Jio Digital Service centres' that would look at providing goverment-to-consumer (G2C) services.

These service centres - much on the lines of a common service centre concept, as was once mooted by the Centre - would provide fillip to rural entrepreneurship and can also be leveraged for e-commerce purposes.

These will also support agri and MSMEs in rural areas.

"We will start with five districts in the state on a pilot basis and on an immediate basis. Later, we will scale them to all districts of Bengal," he said.

Also on cards was a cloud-based point-of-sale offering and digital billing solutions at a retailer level. "We are moving towards faster adoption of digital services especially over the Jio network," Ambani said.

He also announced a chair in the honour of scientist of SN Bose in a prestigious university.

Published on January 16, 2018

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