Bengal can attract Rs 5000 cr investment in logistics by 2020: Minister

Kolkata, Nov 24 : Seeking suggestions from prospective investors to make its newly-announced logistics policy more investor-friendly, West Bengal Finance and Industry Minister Amit Mitra on Saturday said the state, according to a report, could attract about Rs 5000 investment in the logistics hub by 2020.

"A report suggested that the state could attract investment of Rs 5,000 crore by 2020 in logistics hubs and this would provide huge employment opportunities," he said on the sidelines of the Logistics Colloquium 2018, organised by CII.

The state had recently rolled out 'Logistics Park Development and Promotion Policy of West Bengal 2018'.

The report 'Positioning West Bengal as a key Logistics Hub'-- prepared by KPMG -- suggested that the state has a huge potential to emerge as the logistics hub of the entire eastern and north-eastern region of the country.

The Indian logistics sector is likely to grow from (Dollar) 160 billion in 2017 to (Dollar) 215 billion by 2020.

This attractive growth is expected to be a consequence of the introduction of GST, growth in manufacturing, emergence of new industrial growth centres and increase in government investments in key infrastructure, among others, said the report which was released on Saturday.

"According to estimates, the market size of the West Bengal Logistics sector will reach US (Dollar) 20 billion by 2020," it said.

Five potential sites in West Bengal offer the opportunity to develop end-to-end logistics parks with multi-modal capabilities.

Cumulatively, these five locations - Dankuni, Durgapur, Tajpur, Malda city and Siliguri - have the potential to mobilise investments worth US (Dollar) 1.5 billion and generate as many as 30,000 direct jobs and up to nearly one lakh indirect jobs, the report said.

West Bengal is looking forward to attract investments in modern multi-modal logistics parks with features such as automated storage systems, multi-tiered warehouses and solar-powered technologies.

Mitra emphasised that the logistics geography is "skipping forward" and the waterways have a huge scope in the state with "295 rivers" and it is one of the top states of the country in terms of density, reach and mix.

He urged the industry to look at the Andal airport as a cargo hub with its zero Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) tax.



Source: IANS