Government bid to revive footwear industry

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Government bid to revive footwear industry

PATNA: The state government has decided to create state-funded and product-based industrial cluster to revive the once thriving footwear industry at Mora Talab in Nalanda district.

Industry department principal secretary S Siddhath on Friday said the government would raise funds from financial institutions like Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco) and the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to create proper infrastructure and amenities at Mora Talab so that investors and skilled workers could open their new footwear production units there.

Siddharth was addressing a policy workshop on ‘Strategies and policies for accelerating industrialisation and urbanisation in Bihar’. The workshop was organised jointly by Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Institute for Human Development (IHD), department of urban and regional planning at University of Florida (USA) and International Growth Centre.

Siddharth, who chaired the workshop, said the revival of Mora Talab footwear industry was being done in line with the state’s new 2016 industrial incentive policy.

“We would now have state-funded industrial clusters. The state government would take loans from financial institutions and sponsor the creation of various product-based clusters. This is the strategic change that has been made on the lines of Bangladesh model,” Siddharth said.

In the earlier industrial incentive policies (2006 and 2011), the stress was on separate incentive policies for separate sectors like IT, food processing and so on, but investments occurred only in the food processing sector. Therefore, the new strategy has put its money on multi-sectoral policy incorporating 11 sectors, he added.

Siddharth, who visited the Mora Talab site and interacted with people concerned, said, “Skilled manpower is no problem. Many skilled workers and investors associated with footwear have moved to other states, but were willing to return if proper infrastructure and amenities were provided. Bihari skilled workers man even non-footwear units in other states.”

Earlier, ADRI member secretary Shaibal Gupta introduced the subject for the workshop and IHD director Alakh N Sharma dwelt on ‘Growth, urbanisation and rural-urban linkages in Bihar,’ while Abhinav Alakshendra from Florida University presented his paper on ‘Evaluating economic and administrative linkage to determine the locational advantage of industrial activities at Hajipur’. ADRI director moderated the panel discussion.

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