For West Bengal to be on the industrial growth path again, the state would have to change its image in the first place and make it sustainable in the minds of the investors, former Infosys director T V Mohan Das Pai said.
He said that although the present Trinamool government is trying to change the image, there was a need also to change the mindset of the perception of the investors.
“West Bengal has to first change its image first. The change of image is happening now, but it needs to be seen whether this change is sustainable or not”, Pai said.
Pai said West Bengal has to grow for the benefit of the eastern region.
“If West Bengal does not grow, the entire eastern region will suffer”, he said.
Saying that Singur was a big setback when Tata Motors abandoned the Nano small car project, Pai said former Left Front chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya started the drive towards industrialisation which was very encouraging.
“But what happened in Singur was a big setback for the state”, Pai said, adding that “I am personally impressed with what is happening at the moment”.
“Had the Tatas had come in the state, West Bengal could have become an automobile centre”, he said.
Pai maintained that there was a need for big companies to come and become anchor investors.
Comparing the approach towards industrialisation of the Left Front and present Trinamool Congress governments, Pai said the former dispensation had opposed industrialisation ideologically and the state lost its place as one of the top industrial base.
“On the other hand, the present government is trying to revive that lost glory”, he said, adding that industry in West Bengal must have faith in the government by interacting with them and incentivising them to invest more.
Pai, president of AIMA, said that the main focus of the state government would on areas like tourism, innovation and start-ups, future technology like 3D printing, robotics, machine learning, big data, stem cell research and setting up of labs in good universities.