Mukesh Ambani proposes Rs5,000-cr investment in Bengal

17 Jan 2018


Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries proposes to Invest around Rs5,000 crore in West Bengal for expanding its telecom and petroleum product retailing businesses besides setting up a manufacturing facility for mobile phones and set-top boxes.

Speaking at the Bengal Global Business Summit RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) had committed an investment of Rs4,500 crore in the state but has ended up investing Rs15,000 crore.

Most of RIL's investment has been in creating fourth-generation high-speed mobile and internet network for Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of RIL.

Ambani, India's richest man, paid lavish compliments to chief minister Mamata Banerjee saying that under her leadership "West Bengal is becoming Best Bengal!"

"Didi, we could make this large investment only because you have created a friendly climate and an enabling policy infrastructure," he said, adding that RIL has emerged as one of the largest investors in Bengal.

"We are committing to invest another Rs5,000 crore in Jio and the entire digital eco-system, retail and retro-retail in the next few years," he said.

Reliance will work with "multiple partners to explore setting up next generation state-of-the-art electronics manufacturing facilities and make West Bengal the hub for innovation and hi-tech technologies for consumer devices such as mobile phones, set-top boxes, and other devices", he said.

Starting in 2015 through a public Wi-Fi Experience Zone in Park Street, Jio has enmassed over 12 million customers in the state, Ambani said.

He said the digital economy will bring prosperity at more than double the speed of the traditional economy.

While Jio will reach 100 per cent of state population before the end of 2018, it is "embarking on an ambitious project of connecting Bengal with Optic Fibre", he said.

Also, Reliance is setting up Digital Service Centres across India to bring Government to Citizen (G2C) services within easy reach of every citizen, particularly in the rural hinterland.

It will help spawn digital entrepreneurs in villages and small towns, kick-start e-commerce and support agriculture as well as small and medium enterprises.

Ambani said Bengal has said goodbye to the slow growth rate of the past and today is the fourth largest state economy in India, growing at 15.64 per cent, much higher than the national average.

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