Revenue collection up 35% in 4 months

Wooing industry State plans investors' meet.

Amid the gloom over cargo-handling firm HBT quitting Haldia, the state government today had some good news on the economic front.

Finance Minister Amit Mitra said the state had registered 35 per cent growth in revenue collection during the four months between April and September 2012 over the corresponding four months of 2011.

The state has also got leading industrialists of the city to organise an investors' meet in Delhi in December this year, it was announced.

During his speech at the annual general meeting of Bharat Chamber of Commerce at a hotel here, Mitra announced growth in revenue receipts. "While last year the amount was Rs 10, 428 crore, this year the amount stood at Rs 14, 176 crore,'' he said.

The finance minister said this was accomplished through tax compliance by industrialists and entrepreneurs and also the integrity of those in power.

"ADB (Asian Development Bank) praised us by saying that three things have now become hallmarks of our tax administration—-compliance, e-governance and integrity. We can give you a case of one gentleman who owed us Rs 15 crore in tax arrears and he was not paying. So we ordered the police to file an FIR and soon the gentleman paid the money. Imagine, we increased revenue by 35 per cent without imposing any fresh tax. This has not happened in any other state,'' Mitra said.

The ADB recently sanctioned Rs 2,200 crore loan to the state government.

Minister for commerce and industries Partha Chatterjee announced that the state is planning a big industrialists' meet in Delhi in December. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who will inaugurate it, will appeal to industrialists to invest in West Bengal. For this purpose, the state government has roped in leading industrialists of the city to organise the event. "I am in touch with industrialists like Sanjiv Goenka and Harsh Neotia to organise the event,'' Chatterjee told The Indian Express.

Mitra also said the state is moving ahead with project development on a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

He reiterated the state government's stand on land, saying it would not be a problem for entrepreneurs. "Land is not a problem and we exhort industrialists to come to the state,'' he said.

CPM doubtful

The CPM expressed doubts over Mitra's claims. "We have serious doubts about his claims. I will check records tomorrow,'' Anisur Rehman, CPM leader and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the Assembly, said.

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