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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Plan to pump in Rs 20,000 crore in next three years: Ambani at Bengal Global Business Summit

The chairman of India’s largest corporate group expressed hope that Bengal will become a $ 1 trillion economy in a few years and the famed Royal Bengal Tiger will one day overtake the Asian Tigers like Taiwan, Korea and Singapore

Sambit Saha, Pinak Ghosh, Subhajoy Roy Calcutta Published 22.11.23, 05:34 AM
Mukesh Ambani and Mamata Banerjee at the BGBS on Tuesday.

Mukesh Ambani and Mamata Banerjee at the BGBS on Tuesday. Sanat Kr Sinha

Mukesh Ambani at the Bengal Global Business Summit on Tuesday announced plans to invest Rs 20,000 crore in the state in three years in the areas of retail, telecom and biogas energy while the group’s Reliance Foundation disclosed it would refurbish the Kalighat temple here that has for centuries drawn the prince, the pious and the pauper.

Given the near-absence of big corporate names from outside Bengal in the 7th edition of the BGBS, the onerous task of heavy lifting had fallen on the broad shoulders of Ambani who returned to the investors’ summit after a gap of four years.

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Ambani, whom chief minister Mamata Banerjee hailed as a “great man”, did not disappoint Didi. The chairman of India’s largest corporate group said Reliance has invested Rs 45,000 crore in the last few years and it plans to pour in another Rs 20,000 crore in the next three years.

He also expressed hope that Bengal will become a $ 1 trillion economy in a few years and the famed Royal Bengal Tiger will one day overtake the Asian Tigers like Taiwan, Korea and Singapore.

The investment in the telecom sector will be in the rollout of the 5G network in the state.

“I am happy to announce today (Tuesday) that we have achieved 98.8 per cent population coverage in the state and 100 per cent within the Calcutta telecom circle,” Ambani said.

In retail, the Reliance chairman outlined expanding the number of outlets to 1,200 from 1,000 at present and increasing “manifold” the warehousing capacity from 20 lakh square feet in the state.

While investment in telecom and retail are part of ongoing businesses, bio-energy signals entry into the vector of new energy. Reliance has become India’s largest bio-energy producer, based on the company’s indigenously developed technology.

“We target to establish 100 compressed biogas (CBG) plants in the next three years, consuming 5.5 million tonnes of agricultural residue and organic waste. We will also help farmers to grow energy plantations on a large scale. This would help mitigate nearly 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions and produce 2.5 million tonnes of organic manure annually,” Ambani said.

While Ambani stole the show, there were a few notable investment proposals that came from Wipro chief Rishad Premji, Narayana Hrudayayala founder Devi Shetty and JK Organisation boss Harsh Pati Singhania.

Premji disclosed that Wipro’s second campus at Rajarhat was in progress and it would invest Rs 200 crore there.

Shetty announced a Rs 1,000 crore investment in a 1,000-bed superspeciality hospital within two years, which would employ 10,000 people directly and indirectly.

Singhania, born and brought up in Calcutta, signalled his intent to return to Bengal with a dairy project at Kharagpur, sourcing milk from more than 95,000 farmers across 2,000 villages.

ITC chairman Sanjiv Puri said one more plant was being set up in Bengal.

Mamata also unveiled five policies — the West Bengal logistics policy, internet cable landing station policy, export promotion policy, green hydrogen policy and new renewable energy manufacturing and promotion policy.

Kalighat temple

Mukesh Ambani on Tuesday revealed that Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm headed by his wife Nita Ambani, was restoring the Kalighat temple.

“Respected Mamata Didi, this project is as close to Nita and my heart, as it is to yours. Thank you for this opportunity,” Ambani told the chief minister.

Bablu Halder, vice-president of the Kalighat Temple Committee, said Reliance was already working at the temple complex.

“The water tank, called Kunda Pukur, was earlier outside the temple boundary. It is now within the temple complex,” he said. “They will also improve the condition of the temples, portions of which are now dilapidated. They have obtained permission from the heritage committee of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and the work has started.”

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