Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) team to visit Darjeeling

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) team to visit Darjeeling
After exploring investment opportunities in the plains of North Bengal, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is scouting the Darjeeling hills for similar prospects, especially in the small-scale sector. A delegation comprising 20 industrialists from the eastern states of the country is slated to visit Darjeeling on September 12 to meet Gorkhaland Territorial Administration authorities including Bimal Gurung, the council’s chief executive.
CII North Bengal convener Laxmi Limbu Kaushal informed the team will discuss investment opportunities in the Darjeeling hills. It will focus on the development sector in partnership with the state government and the GTA. The delegation will consist of representatives from Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh, besides West Bengal, she added.
Kaushal noted business prospects lie in sectors such as technical education, orange farming, paper manufacturing, eco-tourism and tea. She said there are 173 small tea growers in Darjeeling and they require proper attention if the tea industry is to develop further. A CII survey team had visited the hills about 25 days ago and prepared the groundwork on how investments could be made including the choice of sectors by interacting with government officials and other noted individuals, informed the CII convener.
After the September 12 meeting in Darjeeling, the team will conduct a series of meetings with stakeholders in Mirik, Kurseong, Kalimpong and other parts of the hills. GTA sabhashad Phubi Rai, who heads the small scale industries department of the council, recently met CII representatives and submitted investment proposals.
Speaking with this correspondent, Rai said, “Before investing in the small scale industries of the hills, proper training and guidance is essential for farmers, artisans and other stakeholders. A training centre should first be established for this purpose.”(EOIC)

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