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Bengal sees better funds inflow

Calcutta, Sept. 24: The West Bengal government expects to receive Rs 2,500 crore investment in the current financial year against Rs 2325.95 crore in the previous year.

This was announced by state commerce and industry minister Nirupam Sen at the inaugural session of a seminar on “Manufacturing excellence and outsourcing” organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Sen said the government’s policies on minerals, biotechnology, information technology (IT), IT-enabled services and exports would help to attract Rs 2,500 crore in the current fiscal. “We expect to cross the Rs 2,500 crore investment mark in 2003,” he said.

He said in January-December 2002, 16 projects involving Rs 241 crore had been commissioned and another 77 projects involving Rs 2,000 crore investment are under different stages of implementation. Out of these, 17 are mega projects with a capital investment of Rs 1314 crore.

The state has already witnessed a spurt in investment in the iron and steel sector. About 142 iron and steel units have come up.

“We expect more investments in this sector. The domestic steel industry is coming out of its worst phase and showing signs of improvement. Last year, finished steel production had gone up by 2.5 per cent to around 30 million tonnes and pig iron registered a 16.2 per cent growth and reached the production level of 3.95 million tonnes. It is expected that the golden quadrilateral highway project would boost the per capita use of steel,” Sen added.

According to the minister, the development of ancillary industries was an integral component of the public sector growth in the country since the beginning of five-year plans. But, there was a visible lack of plant-level monitoring for standardisation of products as well as the working of the units with the result that they did not receive adequate orders, he said.

“In today’s context, when our industrial products have to compete with global competitors, they have to be of a high quality as well as cost competitive,” he added.

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