The Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while addressing traders and officials at “Udyami Panchayat” in Patna recently invited investors in the Bihar silk sector promising them all help from the State Government for establishing their units. He added that the government was committed to strengthening the traditional industries in the State. In Bihar, Bhagalpur, popular as “Silk City”, once had a flourishing silk industry, with the Bhagalpuri silk famous across the globe. However, the sector has lost its sheen, with very few weavers left in the area as they hardly break even. But still the silk, handloom and powerloom have a lot of potential for growth and can provide employment to a large number of people in the State. They have already seen the growth in tussar silk where they provided assistance to women groups working in the sector.

Bihar, considered a cash-strapped state which has demanding a special category status for the past several years, is now trying to harness traditional and small-scale industries after it has found little success in attracting big investors despite its lucrative industrial policies. Following enforcement of total prohibition on April 5, 2016, the State also lost on its excise revenue, which made it mandatory for Bihar to look at smaller industries such as food-processing, garment etc, to fill its coffers. Nitish also stressed on the need for increasing the number of handloom cooperative societies to strengthen the organisation of handloom weavers in the State. A joint meeting of the industries and cooperative departments will be held very soon for the small scale industrialists, where all their problems will be taken up in detail and solutions will be given to them.