West Bengal, India’s sixth largest state in terms of economic size, is emerging as a leading IT and electronics hub. Being the eastern hub of business and finance sector, the state primarily depends upon agriculture and medium-sized industry. Major industries are located in and around the state capital, Kolkata, mineral-rich areas and Haldia port region. The market of the state varies from tea, sugar, jute to chemicals and fertilizers, giving a wide scope of doing business in the sector.
West Bengal – Ease of Doing Business
There are around 10,000 factories registered in the state. The government has also opened a single window system, Silpa Sathi, to provide all facilitations and handholding support to the investors intending to start a business of operating a business in the state.
The West Bengal Government has brought various industry friendly policies to ensure ease of doing business in the state. Another such initiative is the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping that has been recently announced by the state government.
What is the GIS Mapping Initiative?
As micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the key sectors of West Bengal’s economy, the state government initiated a GIS mapping of the existing 570 MSME cluster. Over the past 10 years, the MSME sector has evolved into a crucial contributor to the state’s economy. Earlier there were only 30 MSME clusters. With the constant support of government in the form of facility centers, creating storage facilities and providing necessary machinery and infrastructure the number of MSME cluster has gone up to 570.
The initiative is to assess the availability of infrastructure and skill workers in these industrial facilities and help improve ease of doing business in the state.
With an aim of creating a GIS-enabled database of industrial areas within the state, the government is moving towards smart logistics planning.
Why West Bengal Government Started This Initiative?
The survey will benefit both the government and industry workers. With the help of the detailed data, which will be collected by the survey, the government will be able to identify the infrastructural gap in the existing clusters. A strategy to strengthen the services among these sectors will become easier for the government.
Along with this, the mapping will also provide the exact location of the existing clusters so that the state can have details of infrastructure, availability of land and skill of labourers working in these industrial areas. Results of this survey will also enable the government in their decision making on how and when to provide help to the clusters.
On the other hand, businessmen will have easy access to all the infrastructure and resources which will help them in setting up their businesses. This is another big opportunity for MSMEs to get government’s support for launching and scaling their business and also to get investment opportunities. For industry workers, it is an opportunity to get more valuable jobs.
What All Sectors Will It Cover?
The GIS mapping survey will majorly cover the MSMEs clusters. It will also include the handloom and khadi sectors. Other sectors that will come under this are furniture, incense sticks, jari clusters, etc. Artisans can easily go to these centers and use machineries installed by the state government.
Insights For Business Owners
With an aim of creating a GIS-enabled database of industrial areas within the state, the government is moving towards smart logistics planning. This kind of survey is beneficial for both the government and artisans.
Business owners can access the data from the official website and can plan their future venture smoothly. They can also get the details of the skilled workers and can have ready-made manpower. As it is a part of e-governance initiative, the state is aiming to give clearances to projects digitally. This will ease-up the long procedure of getting official documents for business setup.