Bihar hopes more Bangladeshi textile units to set up in the State

Bangladeshi textile companies have been facing issues with labour and infrastructure and are looking for nearby locations

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Bihar is eyeing textile entrepreneurs from Bangladesh for significant investment in the State. Textile is one of four areas for ‘Bihar Business Connect 2023’- A Global Investors’ Summit to be held during December 13-14 in Patna.

“Situations are quite similar in Bangladesh and Bihar. Also, Bangladeshi companies are looking for place where production should not get disturbed on account of longer non-working hours say during month-long Ramadan,” a senior State government official issued a statement. Bangladesh is rapidly emerging as a big player in the textile sector at the global level. However, the textile industry there is facing challenges such as labour and infrastructure, and hence looking for nearby locations. The distance between Bihar and Bangladesh is less than 1000 km and weather conditions are identical.

Apart from textiles, the investor meet will also highlight opportunities in leathers, IT/ITeS & ESDM, Food Processing and Hospitality & Tourism sectors. The state offers a land bank of 28 lakh square meters built-up area. “We also have plug and play facility at 13 locations in 9 districts,” the official said. It also has a provision for ₹25,000 grant per labour for skilling besides providing ₹3,000-5,000 employers’ contribution in EPFO for new textile and leather units. There is also provision for capital subsidy and weaver of power charges.

Apart from Bangladesh, the Bihar government is also expecting participation by investors from a dozen foreign countries such as Japan, Taiwan, UAE, and the US. Among the domestic investors, the hope is that all large companies will participate. The Bihar government has already organised roadshows in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Tirupur, and Chandigarh in India, apart from the USA, UAE, Japan, and Bangladesh. “The Bihar government has transformed the industrial landscape of the state over the past few years and has emerged as one of the biggest consumer markets. The summit will see a transformed industrial landscape,” the official added. The event will witness business networking, knowledgeful discussions, and sessions for exploring synergies and partnership opportunities.

However, there is big issue over image of the State especially related with law & order. “We aim to remove this kind of misperception. Once you are here and visit the actual location of industrial activities, then only perception can change,” the official said. Earlier this month, while criticising the Nitish Government of Bihar, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that he prayed to the local deity Chhathi Maiya to rid the state of “jungle raj”. Retorting to that, the Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said there is ‘Mangal Raj’ as lot of jobs have been created.

The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Bihar for 2023-24 (at current prices) is projected to be ₹8.59 lakh crore, amounting to growth of 8.9 per cent over 2022-23 (₹7.89 lakh crore). According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (July 2021-June 2022), unemployment rate in Bihar was six per cent, higher than the unemployment rate at the national level (4.1 per cent). For the 15-29 years age group, unemployment rate in Bihar was 20.1 per cent, higher than the national level (12.4 per cent), necessitating the need for more and more manufacturing facilities in the State.

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