Says land is not an issue for investors in West Bengal
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government on Monday received a much-needed relief after Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress reiterated its support to the goods and services tax (GST) amendment Bill in Parliament.
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said his party has pressed for a ‘Constitutional guarantee’ for compensation to states after the introduction of GST, so that states will be able to make up for their revenue loss.
He said he hopes the Constitution amendment Bill is being proposed in this regard and the party will support the Bill. Mitra’s statement comes close on the heels of Union Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu’s statement last week that there is still scope for meeting the deadline and the winter session could be advanced immediately after the Bihar polls for the Bill’s passage.
Mitra was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an investors’ summit organised jointly by the West Bengal government and Ficci. He assured investors they will benefit from the launch of GST as they will get rid of various other taxes. The West Bengal finance minister added that manufacturing states have objected to the proposal of one per cent tax on inter-state supplies of goods in the GST Bill. “As far as West Bengal is concerned, it is both a producing and consuming state. The state government expects the issue to be addressed soon.”
On the contentious issue of land acquisition, Mitra said the state government has a land bank of 100,000 acres, which is currently in the possession of various departments. ”The government will open it in phases for investors. There is no land issue in West Bengal. Recently, nearly 300 acre of land of the state animal husbandry department was made available to investor,” he added.
Mitra informed that the state had received offers for investments worth Rs 2.43 lakh crore during the last Bengal Global Business Summit held January this year. Of the Rs 2.43 lakh crore, investment of Rs 91,000 crore is under various stages of implementation. He hoped the state will receive more investment offers in the ensuing summit slated for January next year.