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State eyes niche export pie

Ranchi, Feb. 26: Jharkhand has decided to flex its local strengths in the global market, hard-selling its forest produce, weaves and crafts in the export market to stand out, as well as set up necessary infrastructure of around Rs 30 crore to walk the talk.

From herbal oils — mahua, neem, chironji and others — for soaps, medicines and the cosmetic industry, to tussar silks and bamboo items, the state is going full steam ahead to carve its niche in the cluttered export segment as was evident at the state-level Export Promotion Council meeting today.

Ranchi will have a Rs 14-crore one-stop silk park on five acres at Pandra, with 80 per cent of the funds coming from the Centre and 20 per cent from the state. In addition, an export-oriented Common Facility Centre (CFC) with testing lab for organic products will come up at village Janumdih, Potka block, in East Singhbhum district at a cumulative cost of Rs 15.67 crore, with the same 80:20 Centre-state funds ratio, it was decided.

The Centre’s funds will come from its Modified ASIDE (Assistance to State for Developing Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities) Scheme.

The meeting at Project Building, which cleared these key ventures, was chaired by chief secretary S.K. Choudhary, and attended by the joint secretary of Union commerce ministry S. Choudhary, industry secretary A.P. Singh, director (industries) Vandana Dadel and representatives of Federation of Indian Export Organisation’s Jharkhand chapter.

Jharkhand Silk, Textile and Handloom Development Corporation, popularly known as Jharcraft, will be the nodal agency to develop the Ranchi silk park.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisation will implement the proposed facility at Potka, while Jamshedpur NGO Kalamandir will be its operating and maintaining agency.

Kalamandir has also identified sectors like bamboo crafts, mat weaving and value-added non-timber forest produce such as tamarind, processed mahua and chironji oils.

Jharkhand is India’s largest producer of tropical tussar silk, cornering almost 65 per cent of the country’s produce and being an important driver of tribal and rural economy.

The silk park, long overdue, will be an integrated facility covering almost all components of the value chain. It will have a cocoon bank, drying, processing, reeling and spinning units, facilities to dye and bleach the yarns as well as weave it.

Once the cloth is woven, a part of it will go to the apparel unit, where readymade outfits will be designed and tailored. Packaging and storing units, a common research and development facility, testing, design and training facilities as well as an administrative block will be the other features.

These apart, state industry secretary A.P. Singh told The Telegraph that a Rs 25-crore convention centre had been approved for temple town Deoghar in Santhal Pargana with the help of India Trade Promotion Organisation, but hunt for land was on.


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