Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani on Friday recommended West Bengal as an ideal destination for investment. Addressing the Bengal Global Business Summit, Ambani said the state ranks high in the ease of doing business.
RIL, through its telecom arm Reliance Jio, has already invested Rs 5,000 crore in the state for developing the digital broadband network and over the next 24 months it would connect all rural and urban schools, 2,800 colleges of the states and all hospitals at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels with optical fibre network.
At the next level RIL would work with millions of MSMEs in the state to provide them with digital infrastructure, Ambani said, adding that Reliance foundation intended to work at the grass root level in the state, which would entail considerable investments. He however, didn’t put any figure to his investment plans. “West Bengal is an ideal investment destination and I request my fellow businessmen to invest in this state,” Ambani said.
Echoing Ambani, JSW Steel CMD Sajjan Jindal said, “West Bengal is the place to invest.” He said chief minister Mamata Banerjee gave all efforts to get raw material linkage for the Rs 40,000- crore steel and power project at Salboni but there were various obstructions in the way. He said he would not stop after investing Rs 700 crore for setting up a cement plant at Salboni in the state and would gradually bring more investments in the area.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had laid the foundation stone for a 2.4 million tonne cement plant at Salboni on Wednesday.
ITC chairman YC Deveshwar said the company was in the process of investing Rs 4,500 crore in three projects in the state and that before February it wanted the chief minister to inaugurate the projects.
Niranjan Hiranandwani, chairman and managing director of the Hiranandawani Group having interest in gas and gas pipeline business, said it was planning to shift its base from Western India to Kolkata.
“All such opinions of the industrial honchos show that there is a changed perception about West Bengal among investors and that the state has been able to fight out the wrong perception that was there about the present government,” a WBIDC official said.