The economic tale of two Indian states could not be more starkly different.
Under Mamata Banerjee’s chief ministership, West Bengal managed to implement new investment proposals of just Rs. 935 crore from April to November 2012, while Narendra Modi’s Gujarat acted on Rs. 49,405 crore — 50 times more.
Unsurprisingly, Gujarat tops the chart while Bengal is at the bottom among the major states.
Andhra Pradesh (Rs. 10,745 crore), Maharashtra (Rs. 7,021 crore), Madhya Pradesh (Rs. 2,157 crore) and the much smaller Punjab (Rs. 1,042) is ahead of West Bengal in implementation of investment proposals, according to the Union ministry of commerce and industries.
The ministry’s latest report on Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum (IEM), which measures flow of investment into different states, shows even Bengal’s former Left Front regime in better light. While Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had implemented fresh capital of Rs. 1,163 crore in his last year as chief minister in 2010-11, the Trinamool Congress managed to implement just Rs. 325 crore in 2011-12 after sweeping to power, outperformed even by the far smaller Jharkhand.
Banerjee came to power riding on massive and violent farmers’ protests over acquisition of land for industry in Nandigram and Singur.
The Singur protests saw Tata take its proposed Nano factory from Bengal to Gujarat.
Lately, Banerjee has been holding regular meetings with industrialists and business chambers to woo investors to her cash-strapped state. Last month, she was in Delhi for a first-of-its-kind discussion with the Capital’s top industrialists.
But everywhere she went, she made it clear her administration would not acquire land for private investors to set up industries, ignoring perhaps the most important demand of India Inc.