West Bengal has not been able to catch up with neighbouring states — Jharkhand and Orissa — in attracting new investments during the first nine months of the current financial year of 2012- 13, reveals data by Union commerce ministry’s department of industrial policy and promotion.
The statistics contradict the frequent claims made by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and commerce minister Partha Chatterjee of attracting over Rs. 1 lakh crore as new investment into West Bengal in the last year.
As per the department’s records on state-wise investment intentions, during the period April — December 2012, West Bengal received 67 new investment intensions worth Rs. 4,626 crore.
Odisha, during April- December 2012, received 41 new investment intentions worth Rs. 14,078 crore.
Jharkhand, during the same period, received 26 new investment intentions worth Rs. 10,040 crore.
A Kolkata-based industrialist said the figures were not surprising.
“The West Bengal government’s hands-off land and anti- special economic zone (SEZ) policies are not conducive for attracting big ticket investment, which requires huge pieces of land at one go. And also the state’s land bank does not have huge plots of land at one go.” he said.