Howrah (West Bengal): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday unveiled three green field projects of tobacco major and diversified FMCG conglomerate ITC Ltd. entailing an investment of Rs.3,000 crore.
The three projects — two integrated consumer goods manufacturing unit in Howrah district and an IT and knowledge facility at Rajarhat in Kolkata’s northeastern fringes — were unveiled by Banerjee in the presence of ITC chairman Y.C. Deveshwar at an event in Howrah district’s Panchla.
Banerjee laid the foundation stone of the integrated consumer goods manufacturing unit here which will manufacture ITC’s branded packed foods.
Being built over 800,000 square feet, the plant is expected to be commissioned in January 2017.
The second project is the pre-commissioning of a 400,000 square feet plant in Uluberia of Howrah that will manufacture branded packed foods and is expected to be commissioned in May 2016.
The third project, of which the foundation stone was laid, is an IT park and green centre covering 27 lakh square feet of built-up space having two IT towers, an IT knowledge centre among other facilities.
To be commissioned in a phased manner beginning 2018, the facility has the potential to generate direct employment for over 5,000 people in a phased manner.
The IT park will also house a 140-key hotel.
The projects unveiled during the day are part of the Rs.4,500 crore investment of the company in the state which Deveshwar had earlier announced.
On the occasion, Banerjee spoke on the importance of coordination between industry and agriculture and urged industrialists to pump in money in Bengal.
“Industry and agriculture are like two sisters. They need to walk together for development,” said Banerjee.
She also assured assistance to the industrialists and insisted that under her rule no industrialist would be harassed or disturbed.
Hailing the Banerjee government for ushering in development, Deveshwar stressed the importance of the food processing industry.
“Food processing can generate huge amount of employment and also help people engaged in agriculture to migrate to manufacturing.
“Currently, only 4 percent of our agricultural produce is processed whereas in countries like Brazil or the Far East, food processing accounts for nearly 75 to 80 percent.
“So if we increase the food processing, we will not only cut down on food wastage but also enhance food security,” said Deveshwar.
During his address, Deveshwar also expressed his desire to Banerjee of getting land adjacent to its Uluberia plant for developing cold chains.
Banerjee subsequently asserted land will not be a problem and said “we will give you more than your requirement. We have sufficient land in our land bank”.