West Bengal government will be setting up an integrated production and promotion hub for small and micro enterprises, called Biswa Khudra Bazar near Santiniketan in Birbhum district on a 50-acre plot.
West Bengal Small Industries Development Corporation (WBSIDC), under the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and textiles department is developing it. It will take around two years to complete the project.
According to the scheme of things, there will be three separate units in the state-of-the-art Biswa Khudra Bazar – one for production of goods, another for the promotion and sale of the same products and the third one dedicated to developing newer markets for those products.
The Entrepreneurs’ Hub, where the production will take place, will come up on 5 acres, while the Business Hub, where the goods will be promoted and sold will be spread across 25 acres.
The third unit of the integrated market will be spread over the remaining 20 acres. Here visitors can directly purchase goods from local artisans as well as pick up techniques of making the world-famous handicraft products of the district and its surroundings, which they can then use to set up businesses elsewhere. Of course, there will be adequate safeguards to protect the artisans from exploitation.
Bringing both units in one campus will help in reduction of transportation costs and hence will enable products to be priced lower. Also, it will automatically ensure an increase in sales and entrepreneurs can make a good profit, despite selling the same product at a cheaper price, according to the departmental official.
The reason for choosing Santiniketan is that it is major tourist spot where people come from not only all over the state but other places in India and the world too.