Source: Financial Express, Feb 08, 2019
Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani on Thursday said that West Bengal should go for a digital drive to lead the fourth industrial revolution with Reliance Jio already making one tenth of its total investment in the state in the digital space.
Speaking at the 5th edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit(BGBS), Ambani said Reliance Jio’s investment stands at Rs 28,000 crore in the state, one tenth of the total investment it has so far done in the digital space. “Now we have firmed up our plan for a further investment of over Rs 10,000 crore. This plan is already under implementation,” Ambani said.
On the first day of the BGBS, West Bengal got fresh investment commitment of around Rs 43,050 crore including Rs 10,000 crore investment commitment from Reliance Jio, Rs 15,000 crore investment commitment from Great Eastern Energy Corporation (GEECL) for extracting shale gas, Rs 7,500 crore from Sajjan Jindal-run JSW Group to implement a 1000-MW pump storage project, Rs 2, 000 crore by H Energy for laying gas pipeline, Rs 1,700 crore by ITC for setting up a personal care manufacturing facility, Rs 500 crore by Coca Cola for setting up another facility in North Bengal, Rs 3,000 crore by DP World for starting project work on the long talked Kulpi Port and Rs 350 crore by the Makaibari Tea Garden director, Rudra Chatterjee to set up health city in Siliguri.
While all the industrial captains present in the summit said that West Bengal was the new destination for investment and the state’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee has been able to change the perception about the state, Banerjee said the rate of growth of the state’s GDP was 9.1% higher than the national figure.
Ambani added that West Bengal has gained a foothold in the group of the fastest growing states in India , accounting for the highest rise in credit flow to the MSME sector among all Indian states. West Bengal will be able to contribute a quarter of India’s GDP by 2035 if it embraced the power of digital technologies.
He said Reliance envisaged to cover 100% of the state’s population with Jio network and this would be achieved by 2019 end. Jio’s gigafiber project of connecting Bengal with optic fibre to bring superior digital services to every home has progressed well and this would transform every home of Bengal to a smart home.
Pointing out to the opportunity that West Bengal had in warehousing and logistics, Ambani said Jio and Reliance retail would shortly launch a unique new commerce platform to empower at least 3 crore small shopkeepers.