The state government has decided to develop a shopping mall off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass exclusively to let Self Help Group members from the districts get a permanent place to sell their produce round the year.
Sadhan Pande, the state Self Help Group minister, said in the Assembly on Tuesday that a shopping mall with all sorts of modern facilities will be constructed. Members of Self Help Groups will be allowed to display their produce alternatively for a month in the shops.
He said that a 15 cottah land has been bought from the Kolkata Improvement Trust at a cost of Rs 10 crore to set up the mall. Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) has been urged to carry out a study to prepare a plan to set up the shopping mall.
There will also be a stall of Biswa Bangla in the shopping mall.
The initiative will provide a permanent place to members of the Self Help Groups to sell and market their produce round the year. Usually, they get the opportunity to display and sell their produce in fairs. The state government also organises Sabala Mela in districts and one centrally in the city to promote the Self Help Groups. But most fairs take place in winter. Thus, they had to depend mainly on other ways of selling their produce that was through whole-sellers or exporters.
Now with the setting up of the shopping malls, members of the Self Help Groups from nook and corner of the state would able to be in touch with whole-sellers and exporters more often. At the same time, people from the city and its adjoining areas would be visiting the mall as and when they wish to buy products like handicraft goods.
At present, there are over 50 lakh Self Help Groups in the state. Members of all the groups will be getting opportunity to set up their stalls in the malls alternatively.
Though the plan of the proposed mall is yet to be ready, according to the minister, it will be decorated with lights is such a way so that people gets attracted and start visiting the place.