The third edition of Bengal Global Business Summit to be held in the city on January 20 and 21 is likely create an unenviable precedent with no Union minister attending the event that aims to attract big ticket investments to the state.
Sources at state secretariat Nabanna told HT that if this indeed happens then it will surely send a negative signal about Bengal as a potential investment destination to business delegates from within and outside India.
Confirming that the government is still to communicate with any Union minister regarding attending the summit, sources said that there is a strong apprehension among top officials and the political leadership that central ministers, if invited, might use the platform to praise the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation move, which chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is stridently opposing.
Both the first and second Bengal Global Business Summit held in 2015 and this year were attended by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley. To add to the weight, he graced the occasion along with a host of his Cabinet colleagues.
“Investments in any state need central involvement in terms of clearances. The Union government’s role is all the more important in case of foreign direct investments.
Therefore, the absence of any central minister at the summit will reflect poorly on this state’s relationship with the Centre,” a state government official said.
Sources said that President Pranab Mukherjee has agreed to be the chief guest at the summit though an official confirmation is awaited. Around 3,000 delegates are expected to attend the event, including those from countries like the US, Japan, Germany, China, Italy and Russia.