On this day, Firhad said that there are currently around 90 lakh micro, small and medium industries in the state. Altogether 1.36 crore people work in the MSME sector in the state. He said, “Big industries generate 5, 10, 15,000 jobs. MSME sector has the highest potential for employment. In the last ten years, we have revolutionized the MSME sector in the state. When we came to power, there were 49 MSME clusters, which has now increased to 554.”
He said, there are more than 200 industrial parks in the state covering about 20,000 acres. In this context, referring to Tata Motors’ Nano project at Singur, he said, “We were misled that we did not allow the Tatas to build the Nano project on 1,000 acres of land. But, the protest that took place then was against the land acquisition, not against the Tatas.”
Incidentally, the agitation against the forcible acquisition of land in Singur by the then Left Front government led by the then chief opposition leader Mamata Banerjee played a major role behind the shift of power in the state in 2011. Subsequently, the Supreme Court ruled that Singur’s land acquisition was illegal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s government has returned the land to Singur landowners on the orders of the Supreme Court.
At the opening ceremony of the expo, the state’s industry and commerce minister Shashi Panja said that the government is emphasizing on increasing exports from the state. He said, “The state government has an export promotion policy. Agri export promotion policy has also been introduced in 2022. District export promotion committees are in place at district level to encourage exports. In 2021-22, products worth USD 13.9 billion were exported from Bengal. Which is 54.96 percent higher than the previous year.”
He appealed to the representatives of the industrial and business community to play the role of goodwill ambassadors to convey the right message about the state. On the other hand, the Chief Secretary said that the state government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has adopted various policies to encourage industry and commerce. He said, “In many administrative meetings, we have received many suggestions from the Chamber of Commerce and business, based on which we have taken action. We are working towards bringing industry and commerce to the state.”
Around 500 stalls from 28 sectors participated in this year’s Bengal Global Trade Expo. Sushil Poddar, president of Confederation of West Bengal Trade Associations, organizer of the expo, said that more than 300 job opportunities will be provided to students from this expo.