Mamata Banerjee Takes on Vibrant Gujarat with Bengal Investors Summit

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Mamata Banerjee Takes on Vibrant Gujarat with Bengal Investors Summit

File photo: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra

Kolkata:  The West Bengal government is hosting an investor summit in Kolkata from Wednesday where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will share the stage with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Nearly a thousand delegates, from across India and 20 other countries, are expected to attend the event.

Amit Mitra, the state finance and industry minister, has been working overtime to ensure a stellar attendance. He believes the Bengal Global Summit will change the "negative perception" allegedly created by the media about the state. Though on sticky issues like Goods and Services Tax and the Land Acquisition Ordinance, the Bengal government and the Centre have agreed to disagree, admitted Mr Mitra.

He claimed that it was a mere coincidence that the Bengal Global Summit is happening just days before Vibrant Gujarat, the annual investor summit in that state, starts on January 11.

"Each state has its own bios -- systems. I don't think Vibrant Gujarat and the Bengal Global Summit have any connection. There was no consultation or competition. Our motto is, what Bengal does today, India will do tomorrow. We are really doing innovative things. Gujarat is doing its own thing, Rajasthan is doing its own thing. In the world of federalism, we all have to attract investment," Mr Mitra told NDTV.

Given that the Trinamool Congress government in the state is not at the best of terms with the BJP-led government at the Centre, questions have been raised about why Mr Jaitley and Mr  Gadkari have been invited to the event.

"Well, government is government. Politics is politics," said Dr Mitra.

"The state as a government and the Centre as a government collaborate with each other.  There has got to be collaboration between the Centre and state," he said.

"I am sure that since Mr Jaitley and Mr Gadkari have agreed to come, they will have constructive things to say. Of course, if there is something he says with which we disagree, we disagree. But, at the end of the day, the fact that they are coming is indication that government to government collaboration continues while political completion in a democratic polity must also continue," said the state Finance Minister. 


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