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May 10, 2023
Tripura CM reopens rubber thread factory, says state will engage in 'healthy competition' with Vietnam, Thailand

Tripura Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha Wednesday inaugurated the reopening ceremony of the rubber thread plant run by Dharampal Satyapal Group at Bodhjungnagar industrial estate in West Tripura district and set a target of a "healthy competition" with Vietnam, Thailand etc where similar products are manufactured.

In his address, the CM said, "The previous governments didn't allow them to thrive. Workers and owners both suffered due to this approach. Since the BJP-led government was established in 2018, we started taking a new approach. With new units coming up, it needs to be seen that not just the owners are earning profits".

He added, "Not everyone can be given government jobs and those who are absorbed in these units would benefit".

The DS Group-run rubber thread manufacturing plant in Tripura ran aground a few years back and was shut down by the owners. The CM Wednesday referred to the issue and said it "suffered some disruption in between but has started afresh".

"We want everyone to come to Tripura, invest here and want different types of industrial ventures to come up more and more", he said.

Citing comments from DS Group executives who said part of the rubber threads manufactured here would be exported to Bangladesh and other countries, the CM said Tripura, which was hitherto land locked, devoid of proper connectivity, has now undergone sea change in terms of quality development, refined approach of progress, industrialization and connectivity and claimed his government would soon achieve the target of 'Ek Tripura, Srestha Tripura'.

He said Vietnam and Thailand manufacture similar rubber thread products and said, "This product has a market all over the world and at least 40 countries import rubber thread. Rubber thread was earlier exported to Turkey, Poland and Bangladesh. We have a competition with Vietnam, Thailand etc where similar products are produced as well. We shall have a healthy competition with those countries".

Saha criticized the erstwhile Left Front and Congress governments and said there were only a few small industrial units in the state in the past and alleged that the culture of political interference of the previous governments prevented growth of the industries.

The CM said his government is trying to promote rubber-based industries by facilitating a single window system and a rubber policy and said the government is considering setting up an industrial force.

Development in connectivity has come up as a major issue to facilitate industrial growth, Saha said, adding that after the Indo-Bangla Maitri Setu is commissioned in South Tripura, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) would be set up here.

He also said an Integrated Check Post (ICP) is being set up at Sabroom and said Tripura is in the advanced phase to become a gateway of South East Asia.

Tripura was one of the first few states to have commercially adopted rubber cultivation in Northeast India way back in the 1960s, albeit organized cultivation shaped up only in the eighties. Over four decades later, Tripura's rubber production hasn't seen much change. The state still produces less than 1,200 kg per hectare of area under plantation against the national.

In a bid to boost production of 'white gold' in the nation's second largest rubber-producing state, a 'rubber clone' or engineered variety of rubber, specifically suited for agro-climatic conditions of Tripura, was introduced in 2020.

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