West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose government completes four years in office on Wednesday, said despite financial constraints and other hurdles her government has delivered its best and fulfilled its commitments to the people.
"In spite of the legacy of the huge debt burden left by the previous government, so many hurdles, financial constraints ... We have delivered our best and fulfilled our commitments to the people of Bengal," Banerjee said in a Facebook post.
"During the last four years, several schemes/projects of Bengal and our performance have won acclaim of international organisations like World Bank, United Nations, UNICEF, DFID and so on. Many of the schemes have got national recognition and have been recommended as models for other states to follow.
"We are indeed grateful to Ma, Mati, Manush (Mother, Soil and People) of Bengal for giving us the mandate to serve them," she said.
The Chief Minister also conveyed her greetings to people of West Bengal.
"Heartiest congratulations, greetings and best wishes to all my brothers and sisters and our family of West Bengal Government" she said.
Meanwhile Times of India reports:Over three dozen CEOs are expected to accompany chief minister Mamata Banerjee in what will be a massive road show to hard sell Bengal in Britain in the end of July.
Some of the eminent business honchos who have been tapped to accompany Banerjee include Sanjeev Goenka, Harsh Neotia, Jyotsna Suri, Y C Deveshwar, Adi Godrej, Y K Modi and Sumit Majumdar among others.
The Britain visit will be Banerjee's second international trip. Her earlier trip to Singapore included a business delegation of 40 CEOs.
The Indian high commission in London is trying to get Banerjee to meet Prime Minister David Cameron, who is the only head of state to have visited Kolkata since Banerjee took over.
A close confidant of Banerjee told TOI, "She was first invited to UK by PM Cameron when the two leaders met in Kolkata in November 2013. She was again invited by UK India Business Council (UKIBC) chief Patricia Hewitt. Subsequently, UK sent another invitation to Banerjee through India minister in the UK foreign office Hugo Swire. Banerjee didn't confirm the visit then because Britain was going to polls. We have asked the Indian high commission in London to speak with the foreign office about a Banerjee-Cameron summit. West Bengal is home to 93 million people - much larger that the population of the whole of Britain."
Sources added that Banerjee is putting finishing touches to the business delegation, which will include "both national and local CEOs".
"We will look at urban regeneration in a big way. The British are already helping us in restoring Writer's Buildings," an official added.
UKIBC says that to fully leverage the opportunities the state of Bengal offers, "it's important to identify focus areas where the state's development needs match with UK's expertise".
A UKIBC internal note says "Potential areas identified were mining. Given the abundance of natural resources, the state would benefit from British mining expertise and equipment. The Association of British Mining Equipment recently took a delegation of 16 companies to West Bengal. Skill development will be another core area. Centres of excellence can be set up in partnership with UK companies to enable technology transfer, indigenous innovation and skill development".
One of the biggest areas in the agenda will be urban regeneration and waterfront development. UKIBC says "Significant examples of urban regeneration and waterfront development are London's Docklands, the Albert Dock in Liverpool and Leith in Edinburgh and West Bengal can benefit from London's waterfront regeneration experiences. Other sectors such as healthcare, education, information technology, and petrochemicals can be considered for discussions".
UKIBC is highly positive about Bengal's investment opportunities. It says "The economy of Bengal on an average is doing better than other states and some recent investments include India's largest steel producing company SAIL to invest £4.16 billion in brownfield projects, £1.25 billion investment to construct a port in the Sagar Islands, state-run NTPC to set up the largest power plant (1,300 MW capacity) with an investment of £1.04 billion and Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co plans investment in R&D and up-gradation work".
India plans to build 100 smart cities by 2022. Delegations from Bengal visited Korea and Singapore to explore opportunities in planning and developing smart cities.
UKIBC note added "Tier 2 cities in Bengal such as Durgapur and Asansol have enormous market potential and can be developed as examples of brownfield smart cities. The Bengal government will develop six smart cities including the airport city near Durgapur. Changi Airports International has 36.32% stake in this Bengal Aerotropolis airport. Changi will operate the airport for 15 years. The Government also plans to remodel the riverside of Kolkata along the lines of the Thames in London".
Meanwhile a senior official of Banerjee's team is travelling to London on May 22 to see if the meeting could be made possible.
Dr Krishna Gupta, managing director of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) will be in London from May 22-26 to do the ground work before the chief minister's visit.
He will be meeting Indian high commissioner to Britain Ranjan Mathai at India House to finalise Banerjee's itinerary.
Banerjee is expected to be in London for four days, starting July 26.
Banerjee plans to hard sell Bengal - the sixth largest economy in India after Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The state had a gross state domestic product (GSDP) of $ 114.6 billion in 2012-13.