West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee left for London on Sunday morning with the aim of attracting investments to West Bengal. State finance minister Amit Mitra, three Trinamool Congress MPs, namely, Derek O’Brien, Sugato Bose and Dev along with mayor Sovan Chatterjee, several officials, ITC chairman YC Deveshwar, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group chief Sanjiv Goenka and Ambuja Neotia Group chairman Harsh Neotia were part of the team.
Just before leaving for her five-day visit to the United Kingdom, the chief minister said she was expecting a number of MoUs to be signed during her stay there. The chief minister and her delegation took Air India’s connecting flight to London from Kolkata airport.
“We hope to attract investment to make West Bengal an ideal destination,” the chief minister said before taking the flight. To a question if she was foreseeing her fouryear-old dream to turn Kolkata into London fructify with this visit, Banerjee said, “Let’s go there first.”
“We are all going there together (amra eksathe jachhi),” she said apparently referring to the team.
Mamata also emphasised that while her official delegation consisted of 12 members comprising state cabinet ministers, senior officials and MPs, the rest of the 50-member team would bear their own travel expenses.
“On our way to London with Bengal business delegation. Our team comprises industrialists, bureaucrats, media friends, industry & finance minister, mayor, three MPs,” the chief minister tweeted around 2 pm on Sunday.
During her stay in London, the chief minister will showcase the concept of theme city to businessmen. The state government has recently planned six theme cities across West Bengal with modern infrastructure in the fields of health to culture.
In June, the state cabinet approved the proposal to set up six townships based on different themes. These are Siliguri (theme health), Kalyani (analytics), Baruipur (geriatric care), Santiniketan (culture), Asansol (industry) and Dumurjola (sports). It’s the brainchild of the chief minister herself.
In addition, the chief minister and her team will also promote business opportunities in New Town. A credit-card sized wallet-friendly pen drive with a capacity of 4GB has been exclusively arranged by HIDCO officials. The pen drive named “opportunities in a wallet” will be given to investors in London along with a booklet on July 30.
“There is only a 0.5 GB video of 5 minutes duration that talks of investment opportunities in New Town. It talks of the financial hub, IT hub, health hub and economic hub,” HIDCO chairman Debashis Sen said.
“It is not correct that investments will not come to Bengal. Bengal has done nothing wrong. Bengal has been spoiled by its rulers (the Left and then the Trinamool Congress), ”Union minister of state for urban development Babul Supriyo tweeted in Bengali on Sunday afternoon.