Kolkata: Rating West Bengal as one among the top in the country in terms of ease of doing business, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani recommended the state as an ideal destination for investment.
Addressing the Bengal Global Business Summit here, Ambani announced that Reliance was partnering with millions of small entrepreneurs of the state and connecting all schools, hospitals and health centres with hi-speed Internet.
Observing that the state’s revenue collection and investment on infrastructure have more than doubled in last three years, Ambani praised the Mamata Banerjee government for ensuring ease of doing business in the state.
“Bengal is (on) top of my list in term of ease of doing business. I have no hesitation in recommending Bengal as an ideal destination for investment to my investor friends from India and the world,” he said.
“Over the last four years, Bengal has achieved overall economic and social progress and is focused on improving the quality of life of its over 90 million citizens. For the first time, Bengal is a power surplus state and ready for industry,” he said.
Reflecting on Reliance’s Rs.500 crore investment in Bengal in the last few years, Ambani said: “This investment is in creating next generation digital broadband infrastructure spanning 12,500 km of optic fibre in over 6,000 towers, in over 1,059 towns and 24,339 of 40,000 villages. We assure of covering all the villages by 2017-end.”
With over 11,000 direct and over 30,000 indirect employment, Reliance was also one of the largest private job provider in the state, he said.
He also complimented the Banerjee administration for simplifying the approval process of its Jio project for which it had contacted with 550 gram panchayats, 70 municipalities and 70 government and quasi-government authorities seeking permission and approval.
Observing that the world was on the cusp of digital transformation, Ambani asserted that India cannot be left out.
“We are really at the doorsteps of a historic human civilization globally and India shouldn’t and cannot be left out,” he said.
“India today in terms of broadband penetration is 150th in the world. Collectively with all our efforts between three-four of us in the industry, I am sure India will be in top ten in terms of digital service infrastructure with the work done entirely by the private sector,” he said.
About the next phase of investment in Bengal, Ambani said, Reliance in the next 24 months will connect every single rural and urban school, all 2,800 colleges, hospitals and healthcare centres with hi-speed Internet.
“The other emphasis we have is to partner with small entrepreneurs. Time has come where we partner with them in their growth and build a share prosperity.
“Connectivity, computing and information now give every small business the same capability as that of large business and we look forward to partner with millions of small businesses and bring them to their full potential,” he said.
“Reliance is committed to working closely with government and the people of Bengal in building and sustaining your leadership status in India. I assure you Reliance will be a reliable partner in realisation of your vision for a glorious and digital Bengal,” Ambani added.