Materials & supply chain park coming up in Bangla

Encouraged by the sales in the affordable housing segment in Bangla, the State Government is ready to allocate 100 acres in Panagarh, Paschim Bardhaman for an exclusive industrial park for construction materials and supply chain. The land is owned by West Bengal Industry Development Corporation (WBIDC).

This was announced recently by the Industry, Commerce & Enterprise Minister, Dr Amit Mitra at a conference by the CII in Kolkata. The minister further informed that if the demand is higher, then another 100 acres can be offered.

Interestingly, while the rest of India has undergone a slump in the real estate sector, low-cost housing has picked up in the past few years in Bangla.

However, the minister informed, while 35-odd building materials are manufactured in Bangla, real estate developers still have to import some 25 more from other places. The park will have facilities for manufacturing every single building material.

The minister also stressed upon scaling up the facilities at the existing industrial park in Panagarh to woo investors. It has already seen an investment of Rs 770 crore. Matrix Group has invested 100 million US dollars there and Emami has come up with its cement plant.

Dr Mitra also informed that 2,666 acres have been given for another industrial park in Raghunathpur, beside the Amritsar-Dankuni Freight Corridor, with another 800 acres ready if demand escalates.

Source: Millennium Post, The Statesman

Rs 5,522 cr to be invested in Bangla, over 1 lakh to get jobs

Over the next two years, an amount of Rs 5,522 crore would be invested in Bangla, leading to the creation of more than one lakh direct and indirect jobs.

This was stated by the State Finance Minister, Dr Amit Mitra, during an address at a session organised by the CII.

He said that despite demonetisation and the hurried implementation of the GST, which were two massive blunders of the BJP-led Central Government, Bangla has been doing comparatively better under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,.

While the GDP growth rate of the country has come down to as low as 5 per cent, the GSDP growth rate of Bangla has touched 12.58 per cent. Then, in Ease of Doing Business (EODB), Bangla stands at the second position among the states.

Darjeeling: Looking at a bright future

Darjeeling has witnessed phenomenal growth and development in the last seven and a half years. Despite few incidents of unrest in the Hills, efforts led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were decisive in re-establishing peace there.

Health: 4 fair-price medicine centres, 6 fair-price diagnostic centres, free beds, 8 SNSUs, 2 SNCUs, 3 CCUs, 3 HDUs

Schools: 131 schools established, 116 schools’ levels upgraded

Scholarships: 2.28 lakh students under Kanyashree, more than 1.07 lakh students under Sikshashree

Higher education: Darjeeling Hill University coming up in Mongpu; 2 government degree colleges, 2 ITIs coming up

Kisan Mandi: 3 Kisan Mandis set up

100 Days’ Work: More than 4.17 crore man-days created from FY 2013-14 to 2017-18

Housing: About 22,000 people benefitted from housing schemes, including rural housing

Industry: First Hill Business Summit held in 2018, at which investment proposals worth Rs 2,000 crore were received

Roads & bridges: 3,611 km of roads built/repaired/widened

Tourism: Bengal Safari Park near Siliguri; environment-friendly tourist lodge on Tiger Hill, renovation of Netaji Museum in Giddapahar; Roy Villa in Darjeeling, where Sister Nivedita died, acquired by the State Government and renovated

Development boards: 16 development boards created for 16 communities in the district for the communities’ social development and cultural well-being

Samajik Suraksha Yojana: 1.82 lakh unorganised labourers enlisted

Karmatirtha: 3 Karmatirthas built

Sports: Himal-Terai-Dooars Spots Festival being held every year with a lot of enthusiasm


Bangla Govt to develop fireworks manufacturing as a viable industry

With a view to developing the manufacturing of fireworks as a major industry and control illegal manufacturing, the Bengal Government has decided set up fireworks manufacturing clusters across the State.

There are many villages where manufacturing firecrackers is the source of livelihood for many. The new policy would put a proper structure in place.

Manufacturing of fireworks is a recognised small-scale industry in the State, but it needs more organisation. Hence the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise and Textiles Department is coming up with the policy of setting up manufacturing clusters.

The Government has roped in Fireworks Research and Development Centre (FRDC) to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) to set up a cluster of fireworks factories on 50 acres at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas.

Based on the DPR, manufacturing clusters will be set up in the districts of Hooghly, Howrah, Murshidabad and Purba Bardhaman.

The policy would ensure a single-window opportunity for acquiring license and environment certificate by interested manufacturers.

It would ensure that the families involved in the manufacturing of firecrackers get to work in a better, safe and hazard-free environment. The clusters will have facilities for testing of materials to ensure quality control. The processes for manufacturing would be standardised.

There will be separate entry and exit points at each of the units in a cluster and those will have proper working conditions like adequate light, air, safety measures, etc. Moreover, warehouses for storing highly inflammable materials will be properly planned.

Source: Sangbad Pratidin

Bangla Govt to come up with ‘water budget’ for agriculture and industry

To further augment the progress of the agriculture and industry sectors, the Bangla Government has decided to create a ‘water budget’, arrived at by calculating the block-wise requirements of water for various activities related to the two sectors.

Scientists of IIT Kharagpur will assist the Government. Technology, such as satellite imaging, will be used to ascertain the amount of groundwater, as well as underground water, at any place.

The water budget includes listing of the amount of water resources available. According to a senior State Government official, there is no central database where this information can be accessed. Hence, the need for such a database.

The official pointed out that 7,966 crore square metres of water is available annually in the State, whereas the demand has already crossed 9,100 crore square metres. Moreover, in 33 blocks, the level of underground water had fallen to dangerous levels.

According to the official, there are two ways to increase the pace of industrial growth through a water budget: firstly, where there is less water available, to encourage the setting up of industries that require less water, and secondly, to optimise the requirement of water through the introduction of technology and rationalisation.

Bangla Govt to add 2,000 MW of power in 5 years

The Bangla Government is planning to add 2,000 megawatt (MW) of power over the next five years and is also planning to incorporate the latest technologies to reduce distribution and transmission losses. These decisions were announced by the State Power Minister at the 9th Energy Conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) recently.

The 2,000MW will be a mix of thermal and hydro, as well as of solar and other alternative sources of power. Part of the 2,000 MW will be 300 MW of solar power.

According to the minister, efforts are also being made to improve the quality of power. Old thermal power plants are gradually being replaced by modern facilities to improve efficiency in power generation.

The State Government has already made a significant improvement in the field of power generation. Renewable energy has been given special thrust since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came to power.

The minister said at the conclave that renewable energy has become an important component for achieving energy security. From 1 MW when the Trinamool Congress came to power, solar power capacity of Bangla is now around 200 MW.

Rakhi industry in Bangla empowering women

The rakhi industry of Kalna is going places. Compared to last year, the demand has almost doubled, for which the State Government has played a leading role. The sales are also increasing.

Last year, the Youth Affairs Department had promoted Biswa Bangla Rakhis made by these women. As a result, this year, the demand has been much more.

Kalna, in the district of Purba Bardhaman, has been a traditional hub for making rakhis. It is mostly women who make the rachis. In fact, more than 1,000 women are engaged in this cottage industry currently.

By actively promoting the industry, the Government is also enabling sustainable self-employment for these women. The West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB), under the State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Textiles Department, is doing the needful.

WBKVIB has helped has set up a Common Facility Centre at a cost of Rs 75 lakh for offering technical know how on how to make the industry viable. The board is also providing working capital and online support.

Source: Aajkaal

Bangla Govt embracing infotech: E-governance, fintech, AI, student competitions, cyber security

Under the initiative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the State Government has embraced the use of information technology wholeheartedly. Every Bangla Government office, be they in Kolkata or the districts, is either wholly computerised or in the process of being so. The Government is also encouraging students to work on software technologies to create apps and other useful technologies.

E-governance has been made the norm. As a result, work has become faster – both for the Government offices as well as for the public being served.

All information technology-based aspects of the State Government are handled by the Information Technology & Electronics Department. Thus the department is playing a leading role in the digitisation of governance.

A report published by the McKinsey Global Institute last January had stated that Kolkata is poised to emerge as one of the top Indian cities and one of the epicentres of global financial activities by 2030. According to the report, by virtue of its relative proximity to Singapore and Hong Kong, Kolkata stands a bright chance of becoming a big IT hub.

The department is investing in the latest aspects of information technology. It has formed a core group which will interact with various stakeholders and prepare a repository of case studies of projects involving artificial intelligence (AI). Such cases will be taken up which can be adapted by various departments of the State Government.

The IT&E Department is coming up with is a Centre of Innovation. In an effort to give fresh graduates rent-free space for churning out ideas and designing innovative models, the department is setting up a Centre of Innovation at the IT park being built in Bantala, Kolkata. The blueprint for the centre has already been prepared. It will be functional from this financial year, and will have top academicians, scientists and industry members as its mentors.

The department is also encouraging software-based solutions from students, technical professionals and common citizens, particularly for the day-to-day problems of common people. For the last two years (2017 and 2018), the department has been organising Bengalathon, a competition for the development of apps for day-to-day needs.

Another sector the IT&E Department is actively promoting is fintech (short for ’financial technology’). Fintech is an emerging industry that comprises companies which use digital technology to provide financial services. These companies are involved in digital payment, automatic digital banking, share market analytics, insurance predictions and asset management.

The State Government has taken a leading role in developing fintech. A fintech hub is coming up in New Town, with plug-and-play infrastructure. Several companies have already rented space. The department came up with a stellar show at the Singapore FinTech Festival, held last November.

The department has already started working on emerging technologies like cyber security, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, animation, IoT (internet of things), Industry 4.0 (a standard), analytics, animation and e-sports. Summits are being held every month on different emerging technologies.

An important avenue of growth and safety that the State Government has identified is cyber security. It has set up a Cyber Security Centre of Excellence in order to successfully confront cyber crimes.

The cyber security centre collects, analyses and disseminates information on cyber security incidents, executes emergency measures, coordinates response, and issues guidelines, advisories and vulnerability notes. It also acts as a monitoring authority for the State, which looks at every single incident and incorporates the information for research and development.

Harnessing technology in the best possible way tops the Bangla Government’s priorities, and the above measures provide ample proof of that.

Consider Bangla your home: Mamata Banerjee at Silicon valley hub foundation laying ceremony

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee laid the foundation stone of Bangla Silicon Valley hub today. It will be located in Newtown.

This information technology (IT) industry hub has been conceived on the lines of the famous Silicon Valley in USA, and hence the name.

The hub commands a huge 100-acre vista, where national and international IT and IT-enabled service companies are expected to create numerous jobs for people from Bangla. It will also act as a centre of excellence for the IT industry, and will attract some of the biggest names of the world.

Highlights of the Chief Minister’s speech:

The GDP growth rate of Bangla is 9.15%. We are very much ahead. Even if you see the GVA growth rate – India is 6.5% and Bengal is 9.59%.

Industry sector – India 5.54% and Bengal 16.29% (3 times more). Service sector growth for India is 8.30% and Bengal is growing at 15.61%. In the agriculture sector, India’s growth rate is 2.10% and for Bengal it is 2.28%

Unemployment is a big problem in India. You will be happy to know, as per a report of the Union Ministry of Labour, Bengal’s unemployment has reduced by 40%. The credit must go to my industry friends, small industries, unorganised sector as well as the IT industry.

Sometimes I feel bad that the IT industry is mainly based in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Of course the infrastructure was better there. At that time we were not in power.

We do not believe in coming to power for the love of chair. We believe in power to take care.

Bangalore and Hyderabad have become congested. I urge you to come to Bengal. You will get more talented people. If you invest in Bengal, those who are currently working elsewhere will also come back here.

Our young generation is working across the world. They are very dedicated, devoted, determined and sincere. They need respect, not money. I believe they can deliver any job, better than anybody else.

It was my challenge that we have to conquer the world. That’s why we have started the Silicon Valley hub today. If America has a Silicon Valley, Bangla also will have a second Silicon Valley.

We have 100 acres of land available. Set up your IT industry here. If you require more, I will ask the authorities to keep another 100 acres ready. Whatever we can, we will try our best.

Bangla is the gateway to north east India. You can set up your industry in Darjeeling also. Bangla is also the gateway to Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha are our adjacent states. We are only 3 hours away from Singapore. Bangkok is also 2 hours away.

If you invest here, you can tap into the potential of young students. We can give you more productivity, talent, researchers. I am proud to say, everywhere in the world, you will find a Bengali.

This is your State also. Treat this as your home. Nurture this as your baby. The asset is your working capital. I assure all cooperation from State Government. Consider us as your sweet family.

Industrial production in Bengal has increased by 250%

The rate of industrial production in Bengal has increased by 250 per cent over the last seven years, which is the period of the Trinamool Congress Government.

This fact came to the fore through a recent report, ‘Progress of the State’ (‘Rajyer Agragati’) published by the State Government. While it was 2.2 per cent in the 2011-12 fiscal, it has steadily increased to stand at 7.9 per cent in the 2017-18 fiscal.

Among other data presented in the report is the increase in yearly exports by value, from 711 crore US dollars to 825 crore US dollars, which is an increase of 16 per cent. A roadmap has already been prepared for doubling exports within the next three years.

A lot of stress is being given on promoting export-oriented activities, especially by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). Suitable infrastructure is being built up.

According to the report, for exports, stress is being given on steel, gold, high-value metals, readymade garments and vegetables.

For the development of industrial infrastructure in Bengal, investment made in 2017 was Rs 989 crore, which was only Rs 243 crore in 2011. The State Government had made investments worth Rs 3,602.53 crore over the last seven years.

Investments for development of industrial infrastructure have also come about through the highly successful Bengal Global Business Summits. From 2015 to 2018, over the course of four summits, investment proposals worth Rs 9,48,568.77 crore have come about.