Hitting out at the Centre over increasing unemployment rate in the country, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said unemployment has decreased by 40 per cent in Bengal and announced fresh five lakh jobs at Bantala Leather Complex, which she named as “Karmadiganta” today.

“Bantala Leather Complex is the largest integrated leather complex in Asia with investment to the tune of Rs 80,000 crore and five lakh jobs. Those who are concerned about scope of employment in the state have faith in us. We are trying to do our best,” said Miss Banerjee while announcing a total of 11 new facilities for the complex.

“While employment opportunities are shrinking across the country, in Bengal we are trying to create new scopes. We have improved the job scenario in our state by decreasing unemployment by 40 per cent. In India, two crore jobs were lost in 2016-17,” she said.

Miss Banerjee’s statement comes at a time when the statistics ministry revealed that the country’s unemployment rate was at 6.1 per cent in 2017- 18 which was considered to be the highest in 45 years.

She further announced financial assistance for tanneries from Kolkata who set up units in Bantala Leather Complex as they would not get concession while getting plots unlike their counterparts from Kanpur. “The tanneries from Kanpur had approached us after undergoing loss during demonetisation following which land was provided to them on concession by ML Dalmiya. The tanneries from the city will have to pay the actual land price but the state government will ensure that they are not discriminated upon. We will provide the additional sum that the city tanneries have to pay for setting units. This will be in the form of incentive,” she said.

Miss Banerjee said that this is the only leather complex that will be able to boast of a total of eight Common effluent treatment plants (CETP) for wastewater management from tanneries. Four CETPs have already been set up, another two would come up this month and the remaining two in the next few months, she added. A total of 70 acre of land was allotted to 187 new tanneries today and another 250 are in the pipeline, she said.

Miss Banerjee urged the transport minister Suvendu Adhikari to introduce buses connecting Bantala Leather Complex to north and south 24 Parganas and different parts of the city.

On the occasion, a leather goods park and Tanning Training and Service Centre were inaugurated and six buses were handed over to the leather sector. Foundation stones were laid for a brand new footwear park, micro tanners hub, secure landfill site, new CETP modules, STP for leather goods park and CFC for leather goods unit.