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Chemicals sector leads investment in Bengal

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, March 25

LED by Indian Oil Corporation, which has invested around Rs 765 crore, the chemicals and pharmaceuticals sector has emerged as the segment that has brought in the maximum investment in West Bengal over the last few years.

This has been revealed in an analysis done by the State industry department, which said that 43 projects involving an investment of Rs 8,320.84 crore have materialised from this sector, representing 42 per cent of the total investment made in all sectors between 1991 and 2001.

Of course, two projects - the Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd project and the MCC-PTA project - helped tip the balance, but IOC too has made substantial investments.

This includes the Rs 258 crore made by Indian Oil Petronas Ltd and the Rs 507 crore invested by the oil giant on its own.

Among other projects in this sector are Allied Resin and Chemicals Ltd projects (Rs 80 crore), Hindustan Lever Ltd (Rs 145 crore) and Praxair (Rs 65 crore).

Pointing out that HPL has played a very important role in the rejuvenation of the State's industrial scenario, the study said that 463 downstream units were set up, of which 33 were outside the State.

Investment-wise, 447 are SSIs, 45 medium-scale and four large-scale.

Following the pharma sector is the iron and steel sector, which attracted Rs 6,527 crore of investment from 128 projects.

This represented 33 per cent of the total investments made.

This also included a major project - Durgapur Steel modernisation, valued at Rs 4,492 crore.

The report said that a large number of units in this sector have come up in North and South 24 Parganas districts and the Bardhaman, Hooghly and Howrah districts.

These are Bhusan Industries (Rs 300 crore), Electrosteel casting (Rs 238 crore), Shree Vasavi Industries (Rs 75 crore) and Tata Metaliks (Rs 60 crore).

Although considered sunset sectors, textiles and jute have helped generate investment. These have come in the shape of Rs 1,114-crore investment made in 47 projects.

The study also mentioned that seven jute mills are under construction in various districts in the State.

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