Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday said his ministry will make efforts to fuel growth in West Bengal, which he said is one of the larger economies in the country and contributes "significantly" to the GDP.

At a programme organised by Eastern Railway here, he said east and southeast Asia are poised to grow "big" and eastern states in India including West Bengal will benefit from the growth wave.

"East and south-east Asia is where the big growth is going to come… We must make sure that West Bengal grows at a much faster rate," he said at the event.

Echoing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the centre and the states need to work together so that the country as a whole can grow.

"I spoke to (West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee in the morning and look forward to meet her once she comes back from Dhaka," he said.

Prabhu said to fuel the growth story in east India, improving the means of connectivity including rail, road, sea and waterways is the need of the hour and the railways will make essential contribution in this effort.

The minister said while the major mines are located in the east, the demand is in the west and there is a need to ensure connectivity between east and west India to ensure growth.

Railways planned to increase freight capacity from one billion tonne to one and a half billion tonne.

The minister said Kolkata, the state’s capital, is the "natural commercial capital" and needs to be restored to its former glory.