Bengal chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi has said that the capital expenditure to gross state domestic product ratio (GSDP) for Bengal has improved to more than 2 per cent in the financial year 2022- 23, but is still below the national average of 3 per cent, even as the state’s revenue earnings has grown from Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 90,000 crore.
Addressing a CII conference, the chief secretary pointed out that in May 2011, the treasury had closed nine months before the assembly elections with less than Rs 1,000 crore capex which was Rs 3,000 crore less than Bihar. The capex to GSDP ratio was at 0.7 per cent in 2011.
CII in a statement said that the chief secretary had informed its members that in 2011, the debt to GSDP ratio was greater than 45 per cent and in 2023, the ratio has come down to 32 per cent.
According to the statement, Dwivedi had said that the state has a legacy of perception with significant flights of capital and industry and that would take a long time to change.
“The narrative of perception is very important and the perception of the state needs to turn to being a safe investment ecosystem backed by a strong three-term political mandate,” industry and commerce minister Shashi Panja said at the CII event on Saturday.
She said that despite the pandemic, the state’s tax revenue had grown by 20 per cent in FY2022. The chief secretary also pointed out that the state has significantly expanded its foodgrains storage capacity from 70,000 tonnes in 2011 to 15 lakh tonnes at present and is also exporting rice and contributing to the Food Corporation of India.
Sucharita Basu, managing partner of Aquilaw, has been elected as the chairman of the CII West Bengal State Council, and Sandeep Kumar, managing director, TSDPL, has been elected as the vice-president of the state council for 2023-24.