Reviving industries in Bengal

Ever since she came to power in 2011, one of the major aims of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was to revive industries in the State. During the three and a half decades of Left Front rule, militant trade unionism drove out many industries. The State that was once ahead of many other States in industries saw the gradual dystrophy of industrial growth. To speed up the industrialization of Bengal she has visited several European countries, met prominent industrialists at home and regularly held business summits. But the response of prospective investors was rather lukewarm.  Only this year’s summit, called the “Bengal Global Business Summit” the response is very encouraging.
Different industrial groups participating in the summit have come out with specific project proposals amounting to nearly Rs. 50 thousand crores. Prominent among them are the ten thousand crore investment by the Reliance group, fifteen thousand crore by Great Eastern Energy, and eight thousand crore by the Jindal group in cement and power. The employment potential these industries will generate is not known. But the growth of the secondary sector (industry) creates employment in the tertiary sector (service). So, the spread effect of big industries is considerable. At the same time, however, it should not be forgotten that it is the micro, small and medium industries (MSMEs) that lead to employment generation. In fact, the Trinamool Congress election manifesto of 2011 gave great emphasis on developing MSMEs. These industries often become ancillary units of the mother company, creating job opportunities.

Saturday, 9 February, 2019