27 October, 2020

The Pink Of Health

Investors and liberalisers find new love, lots of it, in Buddha's abode

Swapan Nayak
The Pink Of Health
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
When Buddhadeb Bhattacharya took over as chief minister of West Bengal two years ago, few had doubted his abilities as an administrator. But no one could have predicted that West Bengal would stage a remarkable economic recovery under him. Suddenly, investors seem interested and industrialists who had fled the state are slowly flocking back. Says senior columnist Tarun Ganguly: "Without a doubt, this is the best news in 26 years of Marxist rule in Bengal and I am amazed that no one is talking about it."

Last financial year, West Bengal was second only to Gujarat vis-a-vis domestic investment, which doubled from Rs 714 crore in 2001-02 to Rs 1,422 crore. Projected industrial investment went up from Rs 6,111 crore in 1996 to Rs 7,845 crore in 2002-03. The IT sector has also showed promising growth—exports rose from Rs 700 crore in 1999-2000 to Rs 1,100 crore in 2002-03. This year's Economic Survey notes that West Bengal's average annual economic growth rate of 5.4 per cent was second only to Karnataka.

There's little doubt Bhattacharya's clean image and hands-on...
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