Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim on Thursday said the state government is keen to create a “food hub” in the metropolis on the lines of a cyber hub, and preliminary talks are underway to materialise the idea.
Hakim, also the urban development and municipal affairs minister, said such a food zone with several restaurants in a single complex will help in employment generation and also contribute to the state’s GST collection.
“As the young generation is slowly moving back to Kolkata largely due to the IT industry here, there is a need for more entertainment and recreation...We need more big (restaurant) brands in the city,” he said while addressing a gathering at the NRAI Indian Restaurant Summit 2023.
“I was discussing with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) members that we should have a food hub in Kolkata on the lines of a cyber hub...we are looking forward to having something like that,” Hakim said.
The mayor urged representatives of the restaurant industry and heads of major food brands to help in the creation of such a hub in Kolkata. “This will also contribute to employment generation, and West Bengal’s GST collection, paving the way for more welfare activities in the state,” Hakim said.
NRAI president Kabir Suri said the mayor has discussed with its members the possibility of coming up with a one-stop space in Kolkata where several food-related brands can open their outlets. “There have been initial discussions over the proposal with the mayor... I think as an industry, we look forward to coming to Kolkata and expanding here,” Suri added.
(With inputs from PTI)