Make state business-friendly, Jaitley tells Mamata

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Jan 08, 2015 00:32 IST

Mere intent is not enough for attracting investments, union finance minister Arun Jaitley told West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday while addressing the Bengal Global Business Summit.

The minister however assured the Centre would stand by the state on development issues.

“The share of the manufacturing sector in the state is extremely narrow, which is acting as an hindrance to the much-needed employment boost in the state. The way West Bengal is vigorously appealing to the industry to invest in the state, with the same earnestness it has to ensure profitability for the investors... If the investors’ profitability improves, it will help improve the state’s revenue generation and boost employment,” Jaitley said in his speech.

Since riding to power in May 2011, Mamata Banerjee has stubbornly stuck to her no-land-acquisition policy in Bengal, which has lent her a persistent industry-unfriendly image.

The chief minister, who shared the dais with Jaitley, was unsmiling through the event.

“Remember, the states are in competition among each other in attracting investment. To be successful in that you will have to offer the best to the industry,” Jaitley said.

Referring to the twin-issues of coal block auction and introduction of goods and services tax (GST), the finance minister said: “Remember, the introduction of GST will help West Bengal in a major way since this is a high consuming state. And so we want support on this issue.” The cash-strapped state will gain revenue once GST starts rolling, he stressed.

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