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Kolkata, Sept. 28

TO attract more investment in the petrochemicals downstream sector, West Bengal Government is considering setting up more poly parks in the State in collaboration with Indian Plastics Federation (IPF).

The State Government and IPF are currently setting up the first poly park across 50 acres at Sankrail near Kolkata. Addressing Plastiscope 2005 seminar here on Wednesday, the State Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Nirupam Sen, said that the setting up of Haldia Petrochemicals had led to a boom in the plastics sector in the State. From being a traditional importer of plastic products, West Bengal is now turning into an exporter. The State currently has 627 downstream plastic and polymer units employing 100,000 people. Five of these units are large scale, 57 medium scale and the rest are in the SSI category.

Mr Sen said the State Government decided to set up sector-specific parks to minimise land use and create opportunities for industrial investment. West Bengal also recently announced the setting up of food park and a foundry park.

"Land is a scarce resource in West Bengal. By setting up parks, we offer ready-to-use infrastructure to the investors. Since most of the infrastructure like roads, effluent treatment facilities and so on are for common use by the member units of the specific park, we save on the total amount of land used for industrial purposes. Also, this method allows us to set up industrial zones on least fertile land," he said.

On the controversy over the use of agricultural land for industrial purposes, the Minister said, "A campaign is currently on that industry is being promoted at the cost of agriculture. This is clearly a misconception. Our endeavour is to integrate growth in agriculture with growth in industry."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 29, 2005)
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