New Delhi, May 13: The poor state of economy in West Bengal will be one of the immediate challenges for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee who is set to become the next chief minister after her resounding win in polls.
West Bengal, once amongst the top industrialised states, has lost its pre-eminent position in the country following controversies over land acquisitions for projects like Nano and opposition to special economic zones.
Ficci Secretary General Amit Mitra, who has defeated State Finance Minister and CPI(M) veteran Asim Dasgupta with a big margin, said the TMC government would restore investors' confidence in the state.
"Mamata Banerjee will breathe life into the moribund economy by a people-centric programme which will be a win-win for all strata of society," Mitra told PTI after his victory from Khardah constituency.
He said the state government was under a mammoth debt of Rs 2 lakh crore.
A well-networked Ficci Secretary General is seen as a strong candidate for a key portfolio like industry or finance in the TMC government which will occupy the Writers' Building (State Secretariat) after 34 years of the Left rule.
Mitra, 63, a Ph.D in Economics from the Duke University in the US has been on the boards of several PSUs, government bodies and private sector companies.
These included Air India, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Bata India, Microsoft Corporation (India), UTI and SAIL.
The state would need not only domestic investment but capital inflows from overseas.
It barely attracted about USD 86 million during April-December period of 2010-11 as compared to over USD 5 billion in industrialised state like Maharashtra.
"West Bengal was once amongst top industrialised states of the country and accounted for a high percentage of the nation's manufacturing output. Unfortunately, over the last few decades the state has lost its pre-eminent position in the industrial hierarchy of the nation," Ficci Director General Rajiv Kumar said. PTI