est Bengal holds the potential to become a logistics hub of the east and attract investments of around Rs 5,000 crore by 2020, the state’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra said on Saturday. Quoting a report, Mitra said this would help create direct and indirect jobs for 50,000 people. “We have potential to become a logistics hub, having potential for investment of Rs 5,000 crore by 2020,” Mitra said at the CII-organised ‘Logistics Colloquium 2018’.
Asked whether the state government will offer any specific sops to boost the logistics sector in Bengal, the minister said he would first seek suggestions from stakeholders in this regard. “The target is to bring down the logistics cost to 10 per cent for the industry from 14 per cent now,” he said.
A recent KPMG study stated that five potential sites in West Bengal offer the opportunity to develop end-to-end logistics parks with multi-modal capabilities — Dankuni, Durgapur, Tajpur, Malda city and Siliguri. Together, they have the potential to mobilise investments worth USD 1.5 billion and generate as many as 30,000 direct jobs and up to nearly one lakh indirect jobs, it said.
The market size of the state’s logistics sector will reach USD 20 billion by 2020, the report added. Mitra also said the aviation sector has seen a sharp growth from Kolkata and Bagdogra airports, with increase in the number of flights and passengers. He added that the West Bengal government had already extended zero duty on aviation turbine fuel at the airports in Bagdogra, Andal and Coochbehar.
Mitra said Bengal should witness a maritime revolution with new potential in the upcoming inland waterways and deep sea port. He said the deep-sea port project at Tajpur is under progress with the techno-feasibility study underway. West Bengal holds 26 per cent stake in the project, while the rest is with the Kolkata Port Trust.