In a bid to counter the lack of industries barb, West Bengal Finance and Industries Minister Amit Mitra on Friday sought to highlight investment figures and projects-in-pipeline to depict a changing industrial climate in the state.Omitting the contentious issues of Singur, Infosys and Wipro's SEZ demand, he instead gave thrust on Purulia's Raghunathpur figuring in the national dedicated freight corridor grid, HPCL's turnaround story, and Birbhum's Deocha Pachami coal block."The Global Business Summit in 2015 drew investment proposals of Rs 2,43,100 crore of which Rs 94,380 crore are at an operational state. The 2016 summit saw a commitment of Rs 2,50,254 crore. Inspite of the polls - and model code of conduct - Rs 24,924 crore of it are at an operational state," Mitra said while replying to a budgetary debate in the assembly.
He claimed the state has got proposals for 234 medium and large scale units, which together amounts for a whopping Rs 72,516 crore.
Referring to July 2015 central data, he claimed that industrial growth in Bengal was higher than many states, including Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.He said that the state has been scaling up infrastructure requirements like connectivity, water, transportation and power back-up at the Industrial Parks to make them viable destinations for investment. Mitra cited the HPCL's 97 percent productivity levels and its increased profits."Haldia, Asansol and Kharagpur were pulled out from red zone, else it could have been detrimental," he said. The red zone refers to Central Pollution Control Board's identified zones where industrial activities were banned due to environmental concerns.He also said 2,600 acres identified in Purulia's Raghunathpur as an industrial park would be the site for an integrated manufacturing and production hub figuring in the Amritsar-Kolkata dedicated hi-speed freight corridor.