Salt Production in JamnagarIndia stands third, after China and USA, as one of the largest salt producing counties in the world! When India achieved independence in 1947, it had to import salt from United Kingdom and Adens in order to satisfy its domestic needs. However, today, India stands as a self sufficient country and exports surplus salt to other foreign nations!
Jamnagar - The 'sweet' truth about salt!
Gujarat has a number of regions where salt is produced. These include Kutch, Junagarh, Surendranagar, Anand, Bhavnagar, Valsad, Rajkot, Banaskatha, Bharuch, Porbander, Patan, Navsari, Surat and yes, of course, Jamnagar!
Salt production has aided in large scale employment of skilled personnel as well as labourers as this sector is labour intensive. There are large regions of land under salt cultivation along with large salt manufacturing units, salt iodization plants, salt refineries, soda ash plants etc.
Salt Production in Jamnagar - Coastline Making a Difference!Jamnagar district is famous for brass parts which are supplied to electric/electronic factories in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Then, the tie-and-dye fabric or Bandhej of Jamnagar needs no introduction! There are petroleum refineries, plastic and oil mills, Fertilizer Corporations (such as Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation - GSFC) and mineral based industries in Jamnagar.
The coastline of Jamnagar district is around 355 kms. and there are many salt work units here. Salt is exported from Jamnagar to China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and Nepal among other nations. Ports such as Bedi, Okha and Sikka (intermediate Ports), Salaya, Jodiya, Pindhara and Bet (Dwarka) - Minor Ports, good connectivity via railways and roadways has enabled in efficient marketing of produced salt.
Booming Economy of Jamnagar Owing to Salt ProductionThe government provides land on lease to entrepreneurs and companies here. Salt manufacturing co-operative society and agariyas who have land up to 10 acres have been exempted from payment of cess.
Government's Universal Salt Iodisation and Consumption for elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) has been implemented in the entire nation. It is being operated under NIDDCP - National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme which began in 1962 in Goitre endemic regions but was later executed in the whole country after 1984.
Gujarat contributes 76.7% followed by Tamil Nadu which contributes 11.16% and Rajasthan contributing 9.86% in India's salt production.
Jamnagar is one of the highest contributors of salt production as far as Gujarat state is concerned. Salt Commissioner's Organization (under Ministry of Commerce and Industry - Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) has implemented labour welfare schemes to improve condition of salt labourers. It plays a vital role in growth and development of salt industry in India.
Do you know that salt is a Central Subject in India's Constitution. It appears as item no. 58 of the Union List of the 7th Schedule. So, Central Government is actually responsible for control of myriad aspects pertaining to salt industry.
Also Read: Economy of Jamnagar
High Quality Salt Produced in JamnagarHigh purity salt using techniques like solar evaporation are used for production of chlor-alkali industry grade salt which is high in quality. Increase in ship freight and also in wagon costs have rendered salt exports non-competitive for some time now. This has also resulted in hike in price of salt.
The dry and sunny climate of Jamnagar is ideal for salt production. The companies to have modernized according to changing times and have equipped themselves with modern technology.
Problems Faced by Salt Manufacturers in JamnagarA Supreme Court ruling stated that any activity proposed within 10 kms. of National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary or inside the premises of the sanctuary requires recommendation of Wildlife Board (headed by Prime Minister). As a result, the Saurashtra Salt Industries has been struggling for renewal of salt lease of forest land in Jamnagar district for many years now. The Statutory Appraisal Committee intends to access impact of salt panning on the bio-diversity of the region.
Difficulties faced by salt manufacturers include the following -
- Untimely rains are not good for production of salt.
- Frequent amendments to various Acts are not conducive to salt production.
- The salt units in Jamnagar also desire a single-window facility/agency for resolution of their difficulties concerned with production of salt.
- Levies imposed at district/Taluk/Panchayat levels is another area which requires improvement.
The tussle between economic growth and ecological balance is an ongoing and long drawn battle. However, a balance can be created by inclining industrial production with sustainable development. Jamnagar is marching ahead economically and attracts trained professionals and investors from far and near.
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