Now Darjeeling beacons business

Industrial summit on March 13 to focus on agro-industries, MSMEs
Report by: 
Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay
8 Mar 2018

Agro-industries, horticulture, tourism and medium and small scale industries are some of the key areas that will be focused at the two-day Darjeeling Hills industrial summit to be held at Chowrasta Mall of Darjeeling  starting from March 13.

The first day chief minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the novel summit that will be aimed at bringing about a change in the social and economic conditions of the people of the hills long wallowing in underdevelopment and abject poverty. As many as 250 delegates from all over the country that will include leading industrialists from Kolkata as well as Mumbai are expected to attend the summit where eight sectoral meetings will take place to devise ways on how to bring in investment in the hills. ``The areas that we will focus on are agro-industries, tourism, MSME, building of educational hubs, skill development etc. We will provide all facilities to the industrialists. The situation in the hills is now quite conducive for more industries and we hope this summit will usher us into an age of industrial revolution,'' Beenoy Tamang, administrator of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) told the Echo of India.

Tamang, whose brainchild is the novel initiative, said that the industrial summit would undo one injustice that Darjeeling had suffered from so far. ``There are quite a few agricultural products like orchids, hot chillies, oranges, other medicinal plants etc which are grown in Darjeeling but they are sent to Sikkim and processed at some plants there. They are then given a brand of that state and marketed. Now we ourselves would like to have plants set up here which will do the same thing. This will bring in major boost to the economy here,'' Tamang further said. And industrialists who have confirmed participation in the summit expressed hope that the endeavour by the GTA. would bring about rich dividends.

``It's an excellent initiative that will bring about major development for the hills which have long suffered from violence and unrest. Darjeeling has a very good potential for industrial development and I believe this summit will be able to utilise this potential,'' Harsh Neotia, eminent industrialist, told The Echo of India.