Sitalpatti, WB, mat industry seeks govt help | SupportBiz

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Sitalpatti, WB, mat industry seeks govt help

The mat making industry in Sitalpatti, in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district, is gaining popularity, in India and internationally. Mats produced in this cluster are known for their quality, finish and design. Government support now would work wonders for the industry, according to manufacturers.

The industry includes more than 2,000 firms, which employ over 8,000 workers. These units are involved in the production of mobile covers, ladies’ bags, make-up boxes, water bottles and several other things, apart from mats. The collective annual turnover of the industry is over Rs.1.2 crore.

“The manufacturers in the industry are spreading their business to various states in India, as well as to international markets like USA, the UK and other countries,” stated Mukesh Chatterji, an industry veteran.

“This industry is known for its high-quality products, but the manufacturers have to struggle a lot to maintain the quality,” he stated.

“Neither is there sufficient supply of raw material in the area, nor is there sufficient capital investment and infrastructure,” stated Sanjeev Kumar, another manufacturer.

“The manufacturers have no exposure to the direct market, and have to export their products through traders. There is no medium of advertisement and promotion of the products, so the manufacturers get little or no benefit from the sales,” he added.

“In spite of its shortcomings, this industry has managed to survive even in the face of strong competition from plastic mats. The government must help the weavers and artisans to grow further,” Kumar said.