Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, West Bengal’s GSDP will grow by 1.2 per cent in 2020-21, said state finance and industry minister, Amit Mitra.
Mitra said that according to the latest data available on advance estimate, West Bengal will not only not shrink, but will grow by at least 1.2 per cent. “It may be even higher than that,” he added, while drawing a contrast with the Indian economy, which is projected to contract by 7.7 per cent.
Mitra addressed the Bengal Business Conclave & Synergy - a conclave organized by different departments of the state government and supported by Ficci - virtually. The conclave focused on five districts - Howrah, Hooghly, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Kolkata.
A major part of West Bengal’s growth comes from the MSME sector; there are about nine million units in the state. Mitra said that till end-December, banks had lent about Rs 50,000 crore to the MSMEs. “By the end of March, there are chances that it will go up to Rs 70,000-75,000 crore,” he added.
Before the pandemic, the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) had set a disbursement target of Rs 90,000 crore for the fiscal.
Apart from facilitating bank lending, the state government was also looking to simplify procedure to allot land in the industrial parks operated by three government agencies. These agencies offered land on different terms and separate names – industrial parks, industrial estates and growth centres – to MSMEs as well as large industries.
The state has now decided that terms of conditions of offering land, lease terms, transfer rate, etc. would be standardized and put up on the website.