The Economy of West Bengal has undergone a roller coaster ride since independence. Considering the strong social and cultural heritage of the state, and also its status during the British Rule, West Bengal Economy has not done justice to its own potential. Moreover, the strong political consciousness of tis residents has often been detrimental to its progress and prosperity.
However, West Bengal (WB) has also had a lot of things in its favor. The state has taken significant decisions in terms of economy and infrastructure on numerous occasions.
Agricultural Sector of West Bengal Economy
Agriculture is the chief occupation of the people of West Bengal and much of this is due to the successful implementation of land reforms and the Green Revolution in the state. Majority of the population are farmers and agricultural laborers. Other characteristics of West Bengal are as follows:
- Rice is the principal food crop of West Bengal. Other food crops include maize, pulses, oil seeds, wheat, barley, potatoes, and vegetables.
- West Bengal supplies about 66% of the jute requirements of the country and is also a primary exporter of jute.
- Tea is a vital cash crop grown in the hills of Darjeeling and widely exported.
- Tobacco and sugarcane are also grown in the state.
West Bengal is known for its position among the leading industrialized states of India. Features of this sector are:
- There are over 10000 registered factories in the state.
- Calcutta city is a major center for industries including the jute industry.
- There is also a number of steel plants in the West Bengal Economy.
- The Central Government has set up a number of industries in the areas of tea, sugar, chemicals, and fertilizers.
- Manufacturing industries like shoes, medicine and pharmaceuticals, weaving of cotton textiles, spinning and weaving of jute, manufacture of fabricated metal products and structural metal products, and production of ice and ink play a vital role in the economic life of the state.
In the past few years, West Bengal Economy has made remarkable progress towards industrialization. The State Government has patronized a lot of IT and IT Enabled Services industries. As a result, the state has been able to attract a considerable amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from various national and international sources. The West Bengal Economy is undergoing a renaissance in industrialization.