Bengal business jamboree turns biennial

This follows in the footsteps of several other Indian states such as Gujarat and Rajasthan

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 27.06.19, 1:24 AM
  • Updated 27.06.19, 1:24 AM
  • a min read
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Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee speaks at the Bengal Global Business Summit Source: Event website

Bengal’s showcase industry summit will not take place in 2020, breaking the tradition of hosting the jamboree on an annual basis, which the Mamata Banerjee-government introduced in 2015.

The Bengal Global Business Summit will now be a biennial event, following in the footsteps of several other Indian states such as Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced the decision on the floor of the Assembly on Wednesday.

“If we host it every year, at times it gets difficult to implement all the investment proposals in one year. For better implementation, we will be holding it biennially henceforth,” Mamata said.

Later, while talking to journalists, she said the government has decided to opt for a biennial format as most states also hold the show every second year.

“We could have held it just for the sake of it. But we have decided not to do that and give enough time for the projects to get implemented,” Mamata explained later in the day.

The decision on the event, where notable industrialists such as Mukesh Ambani, Lakshmi Mittal and Sajjan Jindal had participated in the past, came amid the changed political landscape of Bengal.

BJP has cornered 18 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, tailing Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress, which managed to secure 22 seats, down from 34 in 2014, despite being in an absolute majority in the state assembly.

“It is possible that she intends to focus her energy to regain grassroots support before the crucial Assembly elections, which is officially slated for 2021. BGBS would have been a distraction before that,” an industry observer commented after the formal announcement.

Despite riding a wave of popular dissent on forcible land acquisition, especially for private industry, which brought

the Trinamul to power in 2011, Banerjee’s government introduced an annual industry summit called “Bengal Leads” in 2012.

The edition died a premature death a year later only to come back in a swankier avatar in 2015 under Amit Mitra who took over as the industry minister from Partha Chatterjee at the end of 2013.

A section of industry questioned at times the efficacy of holding such summits which usually promise big bucks but falls short in implementation, not just in Bengal but everywhere in the country.