M3 Features

Industrial Resurgence in West Bengal

October 5, 2013

Good times are back for the state. Industrial investments in West Bengal had suffered in the past few years. Factors like a nebular industrial policy, lack of interest among investors and political events giving a misplaced sense of the state government being anti-industry had contributed in creating a misconception.


Winds of Change

The Trinamool Congress government has now managed to turn the tables. The proof is in the data published by the central Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion for the first seven months of 2013. From January to July, 23 industrial units have started production in the state. Their total investment is Rs 1407 crore. Significantly, this is the highest amount of investment in the state in the last four years. All these 23 units are medium scale industries.

Besides these, construction of 12 large industrial units involving investments of a few thousand crores, is also on in full swing. These large projects are slated to be completed in the next three years. Industrialists in the state feel that after completion of all these projects, the scenario in the state would improve by leaps and bounds.


Changing landscape of industry in Bengal

The government is naturally excited by the renewed interest of industry in the state. Recently the state’s Minister of Commerce and Industries Partha Chatterjee said the aim of the government is to be in the top three or four industrialised states in the country within the next few years. He also said the state is trying its utmost to deal with the pending investment proposals as quickly as possible.

It is significant to note, according to Chatterjee, that during 20 years of Left Front rule from 1991 to 2011, though 4,710 expressions of interest had been received by the government, only 823 projects, or a mere 17%, had actually come to fruition. Chatterjee informed that the state government is preparing a white paper to enlighten people on this issue.


Bengal Beckons

This news of the spurt in industrial growth comes on the back of the highly successful industry summit Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held in Mumbai last month. According to senior officials of the chambers of commerce and industry in the state, this resurgence in the state is the result of the efforts put in by the chief minster to overcome the negative perception of the state.

MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president Sanjay Agarwal compared the impact of Mamata Banerjee on the industrial climate of the state to that of the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan on the stock markets. Just as the firm words of Rajan’s inaugural speech as RBI governor brought cheer back to the gloomy share markets, the CM’s firm and positive handling of the issue of industrial investment brought industry back to West Bengal.


Some of the major projects to start production in the first seven months of 2013

Name of project

Location

Products manufactured

Ma Chandi Durga Cement

Burdwan

Ductile iron casting

Creative Limited

Kolkata

Leather goods

Banik Rubber Industries

South 24 Parganas

Footwear

Ankit International

North 24 Parganas

Industrial leather

JAPFA Comfeed

Midnapore

Animal feed products

Dhunseri Petrochem and Tea

Midnapore

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Wim Plast

North 24 Parganas

Moulded plastic furniture

Texmaco UGL Rail Services

Howrah

Locomotive bogie frames


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