RIL to invest Rs 5,000 cr in West Bengal: Mukesh Ambani

RIL to invest Rs 5,000 cr in West Bengal: Mukesh Ambani

RIL to invest Rs 5,000 cr in West Bengal: Mukesh Ambani
With Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani announcing a Rs 5,000 crore investment in expanding telecom and petro-retail businesses in West Bengal, the fourth edition of ‘Bengal Global Business Summit’ (BGBS) opened to a glitzy start on Tuesday with several bigtime industrialists in attendance.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wooed investors highlighting the achievements and stable political atmosphere in the state at the showpiece event held at the newly built Biswa Bangla Convention Centre with a capacity of 3,200 seats and all other facilities at the metropolis’ satellite township, New Town.

Addressing the summit, Ambani said his company Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) had initially committed an investment of Rs 4,000 crore in West Bengal during the second edition of BGBS, but has already invested Rs 15,000 crore.

“Bengal has to prosper for India and the investor-friendly atmosphere and an enabling policy infrastructure has led many industries gradually come to the state now. Our main thrust is on the high-speed mobile and internet network platform Jio and we want a future-ready West Bengal for that. We are committing to invest another Rs 5,000 crore in the next three years in retail and retro-retail and digital ecosystem. By December 2018, the entire state will be covered by Jio. We will also work towards setting up next-generation electronics manufacturing facilities such as mobile phones, set-top boxes and other devices in the state,” he said.

The RIL chairman said his company is setting up Digital Service Centres across India to bring Government to Citizen services within easy reach of the people, with special emphasis on rural areas, which he said, will give a massive fillip to e-commerce, support agriculture and medium enterprises, and create digital entrepreneurs in villages.

“West Bengal is becoming Best Bengal under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. A global think-tank has ranked Kolkata second among the Indian metros on overall economic performance, even ahead of Mumbai. Today, the state is known for its ease of doing business. RIL is also starting a project to connect the entire Bengal with optical fibre,” Ambani said.

Singling out bureaucracy and corruption as the two major hindrances in doing business in India, steel maker ArcelorMittal chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal said, “Clean business is good business. After China’s growth, it will now be India’s decade and we have to be ready for that. We are bringing our family foundation to Bengal, which is co-partnered by UNICEF, to work in the social sector. We are also working closely with the state government on investment opportunities in Bengal.”

West Bengal presently tops the list of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion’s Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP), 2017 in the country.

Addressing the inaugural session of BGBS, JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal said, “JSW gets huge support from West Bengal and that is why, only yesterday, we have inaugurated our cement plant at Salboni in West Midnapore district.”

Executive vice-chairman and MD of Kotak Mahindra Bank, Uday Kotak said, “There is a mindset change in Bengal and as investors, we have to understand that future is in the east. Though the credit-deposit ratio of the state is low, yet we continue to put more money as lenders in Bengal and are committed to do so in future as well.”

Future Group’s Kishore Biyani said, “We have seen a 75% growth in our revenue in Bengal and we have invested in setting up a data lab in the state, employing around 5,000 people. With a major garment manufacturing unit planned in Bengal this year, which will create 10,000 additional jobs, Future Group will continue to invest in the state.”

High-level delegations from France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Czech Republic, China and the UK are attending this year’s BGBS.
Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marek Magierowski told the session that the country is looking forward to investments and joint ventures in the coal and mining sectors in the state.
CMD of Spicejet Ajay Singh said his company is keen in making Kolkata a major hub of the airline as well as treat Bengal as one of the most favoured location to launch its ambitious sea plane services with the abundant riverine areas of the state.

“We can also think of setting up a sea plane manufacturing centre in Bengal,” Singh said.
Addressing the BGBS, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Bengal is the gateway to the entire North East and also acts as a bridge between SAARC and ASEAN countries. The state’s GDP growth is the best and much higher than the national average. We have skilled youth force and massive thrust on e-governance, ensuring complete transparency. Without industry, a country cannot grow. But, we cannot neglect agriculture. You (investors) have to understand that Bengal means business and we will dedicate our hearts to you. Come and make Bengal your home.”

Speaking at the inaugural session of BGBS, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group's chairman Sanjiv Goenka said, "We have been planning as well as investing in Bengal for quite sometime now. We will be setting up a FMCG Park soon and a carbon black plant in Durgapur. Apart from these, the group is investing Rs 1,000 crore in Bengal's power distribution network and also in a state-of the-art hospital in Kolkata."

Incidentally, no Union minister or the state Governor was in attendance at this year's BGBS inaugural day.

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