Representatives from 20 countries participated in the meet.
Accusing the Centre of creating an unfriendly atmosphere for investors, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed that industrialists are wary of paying “CBI taxes”, in addition to regular levies.
Banerjee went on to clarify that by “CBI tax”, she meant clearances from the central investigation agency.
Speaking at the concluding session of the ‘Bengal Business Conclave’ here, the chief minister urged businessmen to invest in the state, where there is “no mental tension”.
“… I have learnt from my industry friends that they face a host of problems. You have to give so many taxes…income tax, customs, CBI tax. Everybody is scared of doing business,” she said.
“There is a lot of mental tension. And if this continues, how will they do business,” the chief minister, who has been at loggerheads with the central government on a host of issues, added.
Banerjee assured the corporates of complete cooperation from the state government as far as ease of doing business is concerned.
Stating that investors can only do their business properly in areas where “they have nothing to fear about”, Banerjee said an industrialist can only be at ease in doing business in peaceful areas.
“If everyday, somebody knocks at your door asking you to get out and shut down your business, how will they be able to do business properly? In Bengal, nobody would do that,” she said.
“I want farmers, industrialists and locals to live peacefully…. In Bengal, we can assure you that our attitude, hospitality and humanity will help you,” she told the gathering.
Representatives from 20 countries participated in the meet, but the state government is yet to announce the total investment pledged by companies at the two-day conclave that ended on Thursday.
Representatives from countries like England, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, Estonia, China, Argentina, US, Poland, besides neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal, participated in the meet.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh slammed the TMC for making baseless allegations against the union government and said “TMC-aided syndicate raj” has destroyed the investor-friendly atmosphere of Bengal.
Ghosh demanded that the TMC release data of investments and implementation of projects promised in previous business meets.
“Every year we have seen TMC organising business summit and then making tall claims about proposals of investment. But in reality, hardly these figures fructify. The state government should stop bluffing and take steps to create an investor-friendly atmosphere,” Ghosh said.