National

Bengal urged to set up clusters for small-scale units

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 31, 2013

CII study says move will cut operating costs, increase competitiveness

The West Bengal Government should look at setting up industrial clusters to facilitate growth in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector.

A recent study by the Confederation of Indian Industry on the investment climate in the State suggests the need for adopting a cluster approach to provide common facilities to the MSME sector.

A cluster approach would also help reduce operating costs and increase competitiveness in the sector, the study said.

Growth Drivers

West Bengal’s GDP, which grew at a CAGR of 6.9 per cent during the last five years (from 2006-07 to 2011-12), was largely supported by the services sector, the study pointed out.

The services sector in the State grew by a CAGR of nearly nine per cent during the last five years and contributed 77.5 per cent to the State’s incremental GDP during the same time period.

As of 2011-12, the services sector contributed 57.9 per cent, while the industrial and agriculture sector contributed 18.4 per cent and 23.6 per cent, respectively, the CII study said.

The per capita income of the State has also grown at a CAGR of 5.7 per cent, driven primarily by investments in sectors such as IT, retail, steel, real estate and power.

With a view to encouraging investments , “Shilpa Sathi” or the State Investment Facilitation Centre (SIFC) has been set up, which acts as the State-level nodal agency for providing clearances.

Education

With a view to enhancing educational infrastructure, the State Government plans to set up 38 new government schools; upgrade madhyamik schools to higher secondary schools; strengthen teacher training institutes and develop infrastructure of libraries and laboratories.

The State has a net enrolment ratio of 98.96 per cent at the primary level . There has also been a reduction in the drop-out rates in both primary and upper-primary levels, the study said.

The State Government plans to set up 21 new colleges and 6 new engineering and professional institutions. This apart, plans are also afoot to set up 11 new Skill Development Centres and 3 new Industrial Training Institutes in the 11 backward districts of the state.

A Rajya Karigori Prashikshan Kendra for industry-driven skill development in Rajarhat is now nearing completion and will be a hub for vocational training, the study said.

>shobha.roy@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 31, 2013

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