West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced the allocation of Rs 13,000 crore for developing nine Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) industrial parks in the state's Howrah district, according to media reports.
According to Bannerjee, investing Rs 13,000 crore in these projects would see the generation of nearly two lakh jobs.
The Minister also assured the gathering that West Bengal is a safe place for industry, citing the examples of Wipro and Microsoft setting up bases in the state. Banerjee then stressed on revamping the state government's existing single window system.
Speaking about ensuring quick clearances to business ventures, such as fire licenses, she said:
"There should be a nodal officer and officials of the government departments to expedite projects. The mechanism should be extended to the district levels also."
Banerjee's statement comes a few months after Babul Supriyo, Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, West Bengal, had declared that bringing central funds to the state was one of his most important endeavours.
At the opening ceremony of Industrial Research and Innovation Unit for MSMEs and startups at IIT Kharagpur, Supriyo had said, "I am happy to give away the funds from my ministry because bringing central funds to West Bengal is one of the most important endeavours I have set for myself."
While the total cost of the proposed IIT project was pegged at Rs 65.19 crore, the ministry granted an initial funding of Rs 47.62 crore.
Additional funding of Rs 17.57 crore was also being raised from the industrial partners through other projects. IIT Kharagpur provided land and technological and infrastructural support to the extent of Rs 25 crore.
Despite the work being done in industrial parks and institutes, West Bengal's large agro-based sector is facing challenges with utilising its resources efficiently.
In June 2019, Ajoy Bandopadhyaya, Director, Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCC&I) said at an institute event, "The eastern part of the country is resource-rich and its potential is not being fully utilised. West Bengal has a lot of agro-based industries and large parts of the agro products are produced here. However, the resources are still wasted due to insufficient distribution, lack of cold storage, and marketing facilities."