'Bengal ideal for investment'

'Bengal ideal for investment'

Ambani says RIL to invest more in WB

'Bengal ideal for investment'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to be a happy woman, as her government on Friday received its biggest ever endorsement as top industrialist Mukhesh Ambani counted the state among top investment destinations in India.

The Reliance Industries chief, who was attending the inaugural ceremony of the three-day Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata, said, “Bengal is top on my list in terms of ease of doing business. I’ve no hesitation in recommending Bengal as an ideal destination for investment to my investor friends from India and the world.” Pointing out that his company has already invested around Rs 5,000 crore over the last four years, Ambani said there is more in the pipeline.

“We’ve already invested over Rs 5,000 crore in West Bengal. As our next phase of investments in the next 24 months, we’ll connect all rural and urban schools, 2,800 colleges and across hospitals,” said Ambani, counted among the world’s richest men. He added that most of Reliance’s investment has come through its telecom arm, Reliance Jio.

Praising Mamata for simplifying approval process for industry, Ambani said that due to this, the Jio project was able to get speedy permission and approval from 550 gram panchayats, 70 municipalities, and 70 government and quasi-government authorities across Bengal. He added that with Jio, which was launched nationally from Bengal, his company added more than 11,000 direct and around 30,000 indirect jobs, making Reliance one of the largest private job providers in the state.

The next phase of Reliance’s investment in Bengal would be to connect within next two years every rural and urban school, all 2,800 colleges, hospitals and healthcare centres with hi-speed Internet, Ambani added.

Industry insiders pointed out that Ambani’s words could not have come at a more opportune time for Mamata when before the Assembly elections both the Left and BJP are raking up the issue of Tata Motors leaving Singur with its Nano factory. The Tatas packed up in 2008, and moved to Sanand in Gujarat, following a prolonged mass movement Banerjee led. Even though it paved her path to power, she has been trying hard to shed her ‘anti-industry’ image since then.