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INDUSTRIES

The industrial environment in West Bengal is highly conducive for fresh investment. The infrastructural facilities in the State are good. The ideal locations for setting up of an Industrial unit a number of Growth Centres have been developed by the State, wherein all industrial infrastructure like power, water, sheds, land, etc. are available. The Growth Centres are planned in such a manner that availability of skilled as well as unskilled labour is assured from the neighbouring towns. Also, these Growth Centres have easy access to the socio-economic infrastructure offered by these towns.

 

As the number of Growth Centres have already been established and some more such centres are comming up. Three Mega Growth Centres -one each in the Districts of Birbhum, Jalpaiguri and Malda - will be set up in addition to these Growth Centres. An Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is already operational at Falta in the district of 24-Parganas (South). Situated on the left bank of the river Hoogly in a pollution free environment, the EPZ at Falta provides excellent infrastructure for Export Oriented Units(EOUs). With a view to identifying infrastructural and other related requirements to faclititate further industrial development, the State Government has constituted a high powered Committee on infrastructural development under the Chairmanship of Minister of State in charge of Commerce & Industries Department.

 

The Government of West Bengal attaches special emphasis on the growth and development of electronic industies. An electronic complex has been set up in a very convenient location, close to the city of Calcutta and also the Calcutta Airport. The complex provides developed land and facilities like power, water, road network and communication facilities. The Electronics complex also includes a Standard Design Factory (SDF) building.

 

The State Government also offers attactive incentives to encourage growth of industrial activities in West Bengal. The Government has inctroduced a New Incentive Scheme with effect from 1.4.1993. This Scheme provides special encouragement towards setting up of industries in the backward areas. Apart from incentives like state Capital Investment Subsidy, Waiver of Electricity Duty, Sales Tax Deferment/Remission etc. the new incentive scheme has providisions for treating deffered Sales Tax as deemed loan, allotment of land in Growth Centres on soft terms of payments, subsidy for conversion to piped coal gas as input and spcial incentives for multiplier industries with fixed capital investment exceeding Rs100 crores and minimum employment of 100 persons. 

There is a spcial NRI cell to provide information and guidance and also assitance to NRIs and foreign investors wishing to invest in the State. The Cell functions under a high powered NRI investment Guidance and Monitoring Committee(NRIGMC) under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Commerce & Industries Department. 

 

The State Government is now working on establishing a modem Leather Complex outside the city of Calcutta. About 1000 acres of land are being developed for the production of footwear, footwear uppers, leather goods and garments etc. 

 

West Bengal is rich in natural resources. It has got good rail, road, air and water transport systems.With the changeover to electronic system, the telephone facilities have vastly improved. The State has a well developed social and cultural infrastructure. There is a very good number of technical/professional institution like Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management, The Indian Statistical Institute and reputed consultance organisation like MECON, M N Dastur & Co, Development Consultants Ltd, Birla Technical Services etc. Besides the above, institutions, namely, CMERI and CGCRI, also provide vital support to the industry. A National Centre for Jute Diversification (NCJD) is being set up in Calcutta by the Government of India for assiting entrepreneurs in the field of diversified use of jute.

 

Future in West Bengal 

Small wonder that Arthur D. Little, international consultants presenting a strategic vision of the future of the State in January 1995, found it to be "India's most favourable State for domestic and foreign industrial investment". If Government, business and labour come together for an "Industrial Development Compact", says Arthur D. Little, West Bengal will surely be : 

  • India's most rapidly growing industrial region

  • The home to some of India's most competitive and rapidly transforming industries.

  • India's principal gateway to the economies of the Asia-Pacific

  • Calcutta will emerge as the leading industrial, trade and services centre of India.

 

Small-Scale Industry 

Small Industry Sector in the State, particularly during the last decade has expanded widely and there has seen a consistent rise in the number of units. During the 6th Plan period only 36,228 small scale units were set up, in the 7th Plan there were 80,421. There are 422,401 small scale units in the State today. For small scale and tiny scale units West Bengal Finance Corporation provides assistance for getting loan. Also the Nationalized banks provide Term loan assistance besides Working Capital loans.

 

 Salient features of new industrial policy

"The State Government welcomes foreign technology and investment, as may be appropriate or mutually advantageous". But it continues to have faith in the public sector, especially in areas such as power. It is only to overcome budgetary constraints that the State welcomes investments in infrastructure such as roads, communications and growth centres, through government, private initiative or joint ventures. 

  

The focused areas of industrial growth are:

  • Petrochemicals

  • Electronics and Information Technology

  • Iron & Steel and Metallurgy

  • Textiles

  • Leather

  • Food & Vegetable Processing

  • Edible Oils

  • Aquaculture

  • Medicinal Plants

  • Rubber

  • Palm Oil

  • Tea

  • Basic Drugs, Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals

  • Mineral based industry

  • Gems

  • Jewellery

  • Tourism


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