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27th April 2009, Calcutta

Calcutta hosiery park to create 20,000 jobs

 

A Rs1 billion hosiery and textile park being developed by the government’s special purpose vehicle, West Bengal Hosiery Park Infrastructure Limited (WBHPIL), is expected to generate more than 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. The park also aims to deliver state-of-the art training and manufacturing facilities to more than 250 small and medium sized businesses.

K B Agarwal, president of the West Bengal Hosiery Association, an industry association for small and medium hosiery units in Bengal, told journalists, “WBHPIL has already purchased 325 bighas (appx.100 acres) of land. Over 200 small and medium size units have already booked plots inside the park at a cost of Rs 2.2 million per bigha. Only 10 per cent of the land remains unoccupied, and it can house 10-20 units more.”

The association is apparently not worried about registrations for the remaining land, as so far, only 10 per cent of the total number of existing units in the state has found a place in the park. When fully operational, which should by the end of this year, the park will house a total of 250-300 small and medium sized businesses.

There are reportedly more than 2,500 hosiery units in the state, with some big names like Amul, Lux and Rupa. However, almost 90 per cent of the companies are small hosiery units which mainly produce for the domestic market. Despite the recent economic meltdown there had been no shutdowns, but overall earnings were low, because of low productivity, Agarwal said.

“The total annual production of all the units taken together is worth Rs2 billion, which is comparatively low compared to Tirupur, which exports around Rs 10 billion in hosiery goods, and supplies another Rs2 billion to the domestic market,” he said.

“We lack the infrastructure and training compared to Tirupur. Labour productivity is low in West Bengal because of lack of training, all of which will be addressed in the textile park. There will be separate training and manufacturing facilities for skilled and unskilled labourers,” said Agarwal.

The 125-acre textile park is being developed as a special cluster zone, modelled on Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, which houses the country’s largest hosiery and textile cluster with annual exports worth Rs10  billion.

Recently, the state government inaugurated Paridhan, a state-of-the-art textile and garment park, which when fully operational is expected to generate more than 8,000 direct and 24,000 indirect employment opportunities.

Source: The Business Standard

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Comments

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