The Telegraph
Thursday , January 10 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Small tilt in Bengal exports

Calcutta, Jan. 9: Bengal will formulate its own export policy with a focus on the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), state industries minister Partha Chatterjee said today.

The policy will also consider the interests of the state’s leather industry, which has the largest share in the country’s leather exports at 52 per cent.

The minister said land was not an issue, though its allotment would not be according to the choice of the industrial unit. There was a need to change the perception of the state, too, he said.

“Bengal has performed well in the MSME sector. We are leading in leather exports. Skill development, design studio and marketing at the international level are important. An export policy will benefit them and it will be framed,” Chatterjee said at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Indian Leather Products Association here today.

“The new industrial policy we are working on will have land allotment guidelines. At present, we have about 2,000 acres with us. So, industries should bring forward their proposals. But we will not give land according to the individual’s choice of location. Sanand was not a land of choice,” he said referring to the Nano project in Gujarat.

K.H. Muniyappa, Union minister of state for MSMEs, said the government would sanction loans within three months of application for skill training centres and design clinics in Bengal. Muniyappa sought the co-operation of the state to execute central schemes efficiently.

The Centre has approved two schemes for the sector. The design clinic scheme — part of the Twelfth Plan — will provide financial assistance of Rs 9 lakh for an individual unit and Rs 15 lakh for a group to subsidise the cost of hiring designers.

Under the skill training centre scheme, the government will provide a sum of Rs 40 per hour per person for a maximum of 300 hours.