Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on Tuesday said industry in West Bengal needs “a lot more oxygen” (support) to flourish while ensuring “globalised approach”.
Pointing out that the country’s history was written from the State, the Union Finance Minister said, “Industry in West Bengal needs oxygen (support) to flourish. Given the history of Bengal, there is a need for a globalised approach. Those strengths should come back,” she said during an interactive session organised by the MCCI.
Referring to Darjeeling Tea, as a case point, the Union Finance Minister said “a signature product” like this was “languishing”. More branding was required to push signature offerings. Without elaborating, the FM said this was the scenario across products and sectors in the State.
“When we used to go out earlier, we saw a variety of teas around us. Where was Darjeeling Tea in that scheme of things? Right down there at the bottom. Even a signature product like that is languishing. Earlier Kolkata used to shine with industries. It should now lead the country in terms of industry or keep up with industry in rest of India,” Bengal,” Sitharaman said.
On being asked for details, Sitharaman said, “There is no doubt that BJP is coming to power in Bengal. We have given a manifesto where there is detailed information about the revival of Bengal’s economy; transfer of benefits to farmers; ensuring livelihood and minimum guarantee across segments like fishermen and so on,” she added.
The BJP has during the course of its poll campaign in Bengal, time and again raised the issue of industrial revival. Closed manufacturing units; including jute mills, were a poll plank for the party that highlighted the rising unemployment here.