World Bank to invest $300 million for Bengal’s logistics infra development

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Published: November 17, 2019 1:59:18 AM

The cumulative investments of these projects would run up to Rs 5,000 crore. Most of these projects are likely to come up by 2020 end, Mitra said, adding that Reliance and Future groups have already made a strong foot print in the state with modern warehousing.

World Bank, investment, west Bengal, logistics, infra development, Kolkata Metropolitan Area, KMA, logistics infrastructure, Kolkata news, mamata banerjeeWest Bengal finance, commerce and IT minister Amit Mitra

West Bengal finance, commerce and IT minister Amit Mitra on Saturday said the World Bank was likely to pump in $300 million for the development of multi-modal logistics infrastructure in and around Kolkata metropolitan area, considering West Bengal’s strategic location as the state can serve as a springboard for a huge catchment area, including Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, North East, parts of ASEAN and also the states of Bihar and Jharkhand.

“The World Bank has already submitted a master plan for development of logistics infrastructure in and around Kolkata Metropolitan Area ( KMA). It is also undertaking a review of industrial infrastructure, including industrial parks, industrial estates, special economic zones and others on eastern corridor in the South Asian region encompassing West Bengal along with other states viz. Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam. This has been aimed at enhancing logistics competitiveness, employment generation, ease of doing business and investment opportunities,” Mitra said at CII Logistics Colloquium. He told reporters on the sidelines of the conference that a high-level World Bank team will meet West Bengal government officials next week and finalise the master plan. The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) has already given clearance to the West Bengal government to be the nodal agency in implementing the World Bank’s Rs 2,100-crore master plan. Once things are finalised, West Bengal will get a major boost as a trading hub of the South Asian region, Mitra said. West Bengal has got some major investment proposals for modern warehousing, including that of ESR Advisers, Vertical Warehousing, IndoSpace, Siddha Real Build.

The cumulative investments of these projects would run up to Rs 5,000 crore. Most of these projects are likely to come up by 2020 end, Mitra said, adding that Reliance and Future groups have already made a strong foot print in the state with modern warehousing.

He said while the World Bank was looking at West Bengal strategically and has ranked the state at a higher level in terms of social and infrastructural development, people were required to change their perception about the state because of investment opportunities.

With a Rs 70,000-crore planned expenditure the state’s GDP was growing at above 12% — much above the national average and there are planned capital investments of Rs 23,590 crore in eight specific areas that would give the state major infrastructure boost, the finance minister said.

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