Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC), the much sought after project of the state IT department – which could provide 37,000 jobs – has been initiated in Falta of South 24 Parganas and Naihati of North 24-Parganas.
The Falta EMC, which is being constructed on 58 acres on the shore of river Hooghly and approximately 27 km away from Haldia Port, has already received the Centre’s nod. The department of Electronics and Information Technology, a division of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, recently gave the approval for Falta EMC. But the Naihat EMC, which is yet to get the Centre’s approval, is being built on 70 acres, located off Kalyani expressway. “Soon, we’ll have the Centre’s nod for Naihat EMC as well,” said an IT department official.
The West Bengal government’s decision to set up the two EMCs, costing around Rs 12,000 crore, will not only generate employment opportunities, but also give a boost to the electronic sector. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given emphasis on information technology, electronics and telecommunication. We have the best talents here to manufacture electronic goods and ancillary parts. State-made electronic goods will hit the market in future,” the official said.
The state government is looking to assist start-ups as well. A venture capital (VC) fund may be prepared for new entrepreneurs. “The IT arm of the state government – West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation – has proposed to set up a venture capital fund. We are also looking into it,” the officer added.
Eight software parks – Purulia, Barjora, Bolpur, Kharagpur, Durgapur, Siliguri, Asansol and Rajarhat – have been completed and seven more will come up in future. “Software parks in Kalyani, Howrah, Haldia, Malda, Krishnanagar, Bantala and Taratala are under various stages of construction,” said another senior officer of IT department.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has been constantly working towards building a strong business ecosystem in the state and assisting the IT firms. The organisation has joined hands with the state IT and Electronics Department to flag off its start-up warehouse. The facility will offer working spaces for start ups at affordable prices, which will be conveniently located in the centre of the city.
Most of the IT firms in West Bengal, which are based in Salt Lake’s Sector V and Rajarhat, feel the state government’s industry friendly policy structure and supportive nature would help the industry to grow.
“This would be the best place for IT start-ups, in comparison to the other places of the country. We were satisfied with the support we have received from state,” said a Salt Lake based IT entrepreneur.