Manufacture of biofuel, new sand mining policy among host of Bengal govt measures to pep up industry

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 15-09-2021 23:18 IST | Created: 15-09-2021 23:16 IST
Manufacture of biofuel, new sand mining policy among host of Bengal govt measures to pep up industry
Representative image Image Credit: Max Pexel
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The West Bengal government on Wednesday made a slew of announcements aimed at giving a fillip to industry, including proposals for manufacturing biofuel, a draft sand mining policy, a scheme to augment egg production and development of the Tajpur Port.

Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi, following a meeting of the Empowered Group on Industry here, told reporters that the state is a big producer of rice, and the broken form of it would be used for manufacture of ethanol, which would be mixed with petrol and diesel.

''Since it is a green fuel, we are making it mandatory to blend ethanol with petrol and diesel. After introducing the ethanol production promotion policy, within a very short span of time we have received 15 proposals to manufacture ethanol. "The total investment is to the tune of Rs 2,666 crore with direct employment potential of 4,000,'' he said. The senior official also said that the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation is exploring options of setting up a dedicated park for ethanol units. At Wednesday's meeting, the government decided to frame a draft sand mining policy under which the state mineral development corporation would be the sole authority to auction sand.

''In the existing policy, mining was taking place in a decentralised manner without uniformity. This was also affecting the environment and hampering the state's revenues," the chief secretary said.

The corporation will carry out auction of sand blocks in a "transparent and centralised manner". This will start from October-end, he said, adding, earlier private players who were given such blocks on lease used to sell sand after extracting it. Dwivedi also said the state has identified land for floating a global tender for development of the Tajpur Port. ''We conducted a survey and identified 1,200-1,400 acres of land at a salt factory in Tajpur. There are several players interested in the project,'' he said. The top bureaucrat said work for laying pipeline as part of a GAIL project — Jagdishpur-Haldia, Bokaro-Dhamra and Barauni-Guwahati pipeline — is expected to be completed by March 31, 2024.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) would soon start commercial production in one of the three blocks in North 24 Parganas district, he said, which would garner huge employment opportunities. ''The state has also granted petroleum exploration licence (PEL) to ONGC to carry out exploration in North 24 Parganas, Purba Medinipur, Howrah and Hooghly," the chief secretary said.

On boosting egg production, Dwivedi said the West Bengal government would spend Rs 342 crore on a scheme to operate poultry breeding farms, poultry feed plants and bio-composed farms.

Besides, the state would also set up around 400 'Bangla Dairy' outlets to sell milk and meat.

Plans are afoot to establish integrated textile parks at the defunct spinning mills in Kalyani, Ashoknagar and Paschim Dinajpur district, as well. ''We have already identified SHGs involved with the garment sector for stitching uniforms for school children. This can create employment for 10,000 people,'' he said.

The senior official also made a mention about the need to centralise blackstone mining, and said the mineral development corporation will supervise the process and make it completely online. On September 1, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the formation of an empowered group for promoting industry in the state.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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