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Didi to focus on UK funds

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Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, popularly known as Didi, will arrive in London on July 27 on a five-day tour….reports Asian Lite News

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, popularly known as Didi, will arrive in London on July 27 on a five-day tour. She will be accompanied by a high level business delegation and media team. It also include state Finance Minister Dr. Amit Mitra and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim.

Mamata will hold talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron and UK India Business Council. Cameron in an earlier visit to Bengal had invited Mamta to visit Britain.

This will be Mamata’s first visit to London and she had earlier hinted a major renovation of Kolkata creating a London like model city. She is expected to take a tour at various heritage sites and river Thames in London. After her visit to Singapore, the London tour is expected to help in bringing foreign investment in a fund starved Bengal.

State’s economy

Mamata recently said the state’s economic health was sound and in her four-year tenure so far, the state’s revenue has doubled to Rs.44,000 crore.

“Our revenue earning increased from Rs.21,000 crore to Rs.44,000 crore in four years. Initially, it was Rs.21,000 crore, then in second year, it was Rs.25,000 crore. Then we earned Rs.40,000 crore and the figure will go up to Rs.44,000 crore this year,” said Banerjee whose Trinamool Congress came to power in the state in 2011.

“During the two-day Bengal Global Business Summit in January we had received financial commitment of over Rs.2.4 lakh crore. I happy to tell you that of that, over Rs.91,000 crore is already under process,” said Mamata.

“We are focussing on e-governance. As per official figures, growth in our state plan expenditure is 311 percent during 2014-15. Growth in physical infrastructure is 330 percent and that of capital expenditure is 601 percent,” she claimed.

“Heavy industry is also coming to Bengal. SAIL is expanding. IISCO has been rejuvenated. We have land map and land bank. We have formulated new policy for IT, industry, MSME. My captains of industries give continuous suggestion to the industry department. I am visiting London soon to attract investments,” added Mamata.

Mamata said 15 IT software parks generating at least 20,000 jobs were coming up in the state with eight of them ready for launch.

“Fifteen IT Software Parks are coming up across the state, eight of which are ready for ‘plug and play’,” Mamata said.
The eight ready to be launched parks are at Purulia, Barjora, Bolpur, Kharagpur, Durgapur, Siliguri, Asansol and Rajarhat.

The remaining seven parks under implementation are at Kalyani, Howrah, Haldia, Malda, Krishnanagar, Bantala and Taratala.

“At least 20,000 jobs will be created in these IT Parks for the youth of the state,” said Banerjee.

She also said IT giants Wipro was expanding its Salt Lake facility recruiting an additional 2,400 professionals while Cognizant has a ready facility for 5,000 additional jobs.

“TCS is getting ready with its new campus which will employ 20,000 IT professionals,” she said.

“India’s largest Software Technology Park (STPI) is coming up in Salt Lake with an investment of Rs.100 crore generating an employment of 5,000 professionals, with a focus on Small and Medium Enterprises,” added Banerjee.

Invitation from the US

Mamata has been invited to the US by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) to pitch for investment, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra said.

“The state has good business environment and tremendous opportunity for investment. We welcome you to visit USA alongwith your team,” Mitra said, citing the USIBC letter to Banerjee.

The letter also cited the council’s willingness to arrange for an investors’ meet in US for Banerjee if she takes up the invitation.

The USIBC is a business advocacy organization having partnerships with major industry and trade bodies in India.

Banerjee is also slated to visit London later this month on an invitation from Prime Minister David Cameron.

She also has said Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay have invited her to visit their country.

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