|Chapter- 1: General|
|Chapter- 2: History|
|Chapter- 3: People|
|Chapter- 4: Agriculture & Irrigation|
|Chapter- 5: Industries|
|Chapter - 6: Banking, Trade & Commerce|
Small Scale Industries:-
Rice Mills: In the urban areas of every district of the state, there are rice mills, some of which are combined rice and oil mills. The Government is encouraging hand-pounding of rice through the Khadi and Village Industries Board. A number of licenses to install rice-hullers have been issued in recent years.
The capital investment in the rice mills ranges from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2,50,000. Average number of labour per day employed in each mill varies from 30 to 50 through a lesser number is also found in very small establishments. The raw materials required for the industry is paddy which is locally procured and its main product is rice which finds its way into the local markets. Paddy procurement is the monopoly of the State Government and the millers are allotted paddy from time to time for milling on commission basis.
Flour Mills: There are small units of flour mills in the State with an annual capacity ranging from 35 metric tones to 45 metric tones and in average employing 3 to 5 persons. Wheat is allotted by the State Government and the product which mainly comprises flour is sold locally.
During the last part of the Second Five Year Plan, a roller flour mill involving a capital investment of Rupees nine lakhs was established at Tezpur. It provides employment to 50 persons both as full time and part-time workers. The Assam Valley Flour Mill which is also a Roller Flour Mill was opened on 7.8.59 just near the Rangghar Charali, about a mile (1.6 km) from Sibsagar town with a total capital of Rs. 7,82,156.13 Detailed account of this flour mill is given in the Sibsagar District Gazetteer.
Saw Mills: The saw mills are playing an important role in exploitation of the forest wealth of the state. The timber requirement of the Defence Department during the Second World provided great impetus to the industry. The progress of the industry was accelerated by many other factors during the postwar period and now it occupies the place of an important industry. There are more than 500 saw mills Assam at present. The capital investment of these saw mills varies form rupees ten thousand to rupees two lakhs. Diesel, steam sets are used for running these saw mills. Saw timbers are mostly sent outside the State particularly to places like Calcutta, Rourkela, Delhi, Rajasthan, etc.A larger number of sleepers are also supplied to the Railway
Ginning Mills :- Cotton is widely cultivated in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam and almost whole of it is exported outside the Sate in unginned form. It has also a good international market if it can be blended with wool very suitably . The Diphu Cotton Ginning Co- Operative Mill was establishment it is not working satisfactorily. Besides the Diphu Cotton Ginning Co- operative Mill, there are seven cotton ginning mills in Assam.
Plywood Industries :- The development of tea industry had a catalytic effect on the development of ancillary industries in the State. Tea even form the beginning of its planned cultivation and processing found both internal and foreign markets. Marketing of tea, more so when it is to be exported, and for packing of tea, plywood was found to be the most suitable material.
Like tea , coal, and petroleum, plywood industry was also started originally by the Britishers after the First World War and primarily to meet the requirement of tea industry. The plywood industries originally set up started manufacturing plywood in the form of tea sacks only, and gradually developed tea-chest plywood of 3 plies. With the discovery of various species up tea chest plywood factories in Assam and these units gradually were able to meet the bulk of the requirement of tea-chest plywood for the tea industry of the State.
All plywood factories in Assam , however, continued to manufacture only tea chest plywood almost upto the middle sixties.
Commercial and decorative plywood (including flush doors, block boards, etc.) produced in Assam is now being exported and thus it is earning valuable foreign exchange. Assam is now being exported and thus it is earning valuable foreign exchange. Assam started this industry with two miniature units in the twenties , but there are now as many as 31, many of which are equipped with the most up-to-date plant and machinery and provide direct employment to about 10,000 persons. Besides this industry is also making substantial contribution to the state exchequer by way of various taxes, royalties, etc.
Soap Factories :- About 124 units are engaged in manufacturing washing soap in Assam and almost all of them are concentrated in the urban or semi urban areas of the State . The average annual production of these units varies form 40 metric tonnes to 180 metric tonnes.
Oil Mills: There are more than 200 oil mills in Assam . The majority of them are located in the urban areas of the State , A number of rice mills have oil crushing plants attached to them. The oil mills employ 10 to 40 persons and produce mustard oil, oil cakes, wood oil, etc. There are also more than dozen citronella oil mills in Assam .
Candle works: There are a number of candle works in the State. They obtain materials form the Government and make candle of various sizes.
Automobile Workshops : With the increasing use of motor cars, trucks stage carriages, etc. a large number of automobile repairing workshop have come up in the urban areas of the State . These are mainly repairing and servicing centers. Some of them also undertake the spray painting of automobiles. Some firms of main towns of the State undertake body making of trucks ans buses.
Vulcanising and Tyre retreading : Growing use of automobiles have also led to the development of another category of rapairing workshop known as tyre retreading and vulcanising shops. These are mainly located in the urban areas of the State .
Steel Furniture : The new and multifarious uses of steel largely contributed to the growth and development of steel furniture industry. The demand for steel furniture for offices, hospitals , shops, factories, and homes is increasing rapidly due to its overall advantage in respect of economy , durability, risk of fire and scarcity of good seasoned timber . As a result , a large number of steel furniture factories are coming up.
Brick Making : With the increase in the tempo of constructional activities and urge for higher standard of living , the brick making industry has come to occupy an important place in the economy of the State .The brick fields, scattered mostly in the outskirts of towns are a common sight, thought a few can be noticed even in the interior villages. The normal practice in the brick kilns is to make the bricks by manual process with help of the moulds called forma and then burn them in the oval pattern multi-chambered kilns.
Trunk and Suitcase Factories: A large number of trunk and suitcase factories manufacture and repair trunks, suitcases, brief cases, kit boxes, water tanks, ridgings, etc.
Shoe making : In addition to several individual shoe makers (Cobblers) in the urban areas of the State, few are engaged in making shoes and rubber chapals.
Fiber Board Industries: To utilise the waste form the local saw mills and plywood factories one licence for establishing a factory at Makum for the manufacture of chip board been issued .The volume of wastage in the saw mills and plywood factories is considerable. IT varies from 40% to 50% . This waste is not put to any use other than as fuel. There are many nondurable species of timbers not suitable for any of the industries but which can be processed for production of hard board and chip-board. The chip-board industry will depend mainly upon the local mill wastes . Besides this chip-board industry at Makum, one hard board factory has been installed near Guwahati by M/S Hard Board Ltd. The capacity of this plant is 50 tonnes per day. This plant has utilised the tops and branches of felled tress left in the forests and poles of firewood species, The estimated requirement of these raw materials is 30,000 tons annualy. The Government of Assam is a participant in the share capital in this forest based industry. The licence of 3,750 tonnes per annum at Guwahati was granted in 1961 under the name and style of Assam Hard Board limited with an authorised capital of Rs.1 crore. The State Government's share participation was an amount of 5 lakhs till January, 1965.
Timber Seasoning Plant : To meet the ever increasing demand for seasoned timber, a timber treatment and seasoning plant has been established in the Public Sector by the Forest Department at Makum, at a cost of more than four laks of rupees, Besides this, there are several small scale timber seasoning plants in Assam .
Engineering industries: There are a large number of engineering works concentrated mostly in the urban and semi –urban areas of Assam .These engineering works have sprung up in recent years .They manufacture parts of water pumps ,suger-cane crushers ,cast wheels,axels,cast wheel rims,wire nails,barbed wire,tea chest fittings,nuts and bolts ,building materials,simple agricultural implements,hume pipes,steel trunks,buckets,drums,cans,jeep trailers,etc. They generally employ three to ten persons. There are also a few aluminium industries in the State which make utensils . Facility of casting of ferrous and nonferrous metals is also provided by several establishments.
Manufacture of tools and implements for tea industry:- Tea is the main industry of Assam and one of the country's leading foreign exchange earners. Its demand for various types of implements, machineries and spare parts is so great that this alone can support a number of ancillary industries. Several firms have already been established to cater to the needs of tea garden factory equipments,storage tanks , trailer,seel containers, drums , trolleys, garden leaf- shifters, pulleys, C.T.C.machines and their components ,rice and oil machines, etc. It may be noted that each tea garden has a factory of its own to process tea leaves.
Weights and Measures:- With the introduction of the Metric system of weights and measures, the demand for these also increased manifold. Some of the firms are manufacturing weights and measures as subsidiary products.
Steel structure :- Tabular structures are mainly required for construction of structural houses like factory godowns, factory sheds, etc. With the growth of industries the demand for these items has increased rapidly. Several firms are also manufacturing steel structures in Assam.
Wire fencing:- A number of industrial units are engaged in making wire fencing of all types including barbed wire as a part of their other manufacturing activities and a few are exclusively engaged in making barbed wire. The main items of production include oven fencing ,fencing corner and posts, U. bolts, angle cross arms and other wire products. The tea gardens of the State are the leading consumers of wire fencing products.
Metal Industries :- There are several expanded metal industrial units in the State manufacturing reinforcing concreate materials for roads, foundation, dams, reservoirs, etc. Expanded metals are generally used in manufacturing and for making partitions and enclosures. Its popularity can be imagined from its tremendously increasing use in Railway passenger coaches,windows, factory machines and protective coverings, etc. The labour cost is very small in comparison to the value of the products. Besides these expanded metal units, Bagrodia Metal Industries at Guwahati is manufacturing brass wires, silicon gas, welding rods, manganese, bronze, copper coated , aluminium, etc. The normal capacity of production is 1000 kg. per day.
Printing presses :- There are a large number of printing presses and these are mostly in the urban and semi – urban areas of the State. Some of the establishments are run with treadle type of printing machines. There is also arrangement for color and block making in a few of the printing process. Electricity is being used to run the printing machines. Some of the printing presses have off-set printing as well as computer facilities. Some of the printing presses have a binding as well as computer facilities . Some of the printing presses have a binding unit attached to them .
Umbrella Making :- The number of umbrella making units in Assam is very small and all are in the urban areas. The umbrellas are, in fact, assembled from different parts obtained form outside the State. No umbrella parts are manufactured in the State and a very few indigenous people are found engaged in this in industry or in repairing umbrellas. The repairing job is done by the people, mostly Muslims from outside Assam moving from house to house and place to place also in town markets and weekly village markets.
Tailoring :- With the improvement in the standard in the standard of living and with the increased use of tailored garments both in urban and rural areas, the tailoring industry in growing extensively and can be seen almost everywhere throughout the State. The majority of workers in this industry are males
Of late, however, women in good number have also started tailoring , working mostly within their own houses. The Mahila Samitis Community Development Blocked and other non-official Organisations in the State have arrangements for imparting training in tailoring to women and in some cases to men too. The Industries Department of the State runs a few tailoring institutes in Assam . Most of the tailoring shops are engaged in tailoring of shirts, trousers, pyjamas , blouses and frocks with cloth supplied by customers, while some are engaged in making ready-made garments with cloth supplied by dealers.
Manufacture of Bedding requisites :- As in various other places, manufacture of bedding requisites in the State is a monopoly of a section of East Bengal Muslim settlers and of Muslims from Bihar. While some of the units have number of workers of this trade move from house in search of work. The fixed shops keep a stock of ready – made articles and also make mattresses, quilts, pillows, cushions etc., out of materials supplied by the customers themselves.
Manufacture of Cement Concrete Ring and Urinal and Latrine Slabs :- This industry is of recent origin and can be seen in a few places of the State .Some units manufacture the items mostly on contract either from the Public Works Department or Community Development Blocks or public Health Engineering Department, or against order from large establishments like tea estates, etc.With the growing hygienic sense in the rural areas, squatting type water sealed latrine slab placed over a deep narrow pit is now in extensive use and the slabs are supplied by these units. Some units also manufacture R.C.C. fencing posts against other . Every unit , However, maintains a ready stock for sale.
Re – roling Mills :- The tea industry , crude oil exploration , oil refinery , etc. have together helped growth of engineering industries all over the State . To meet the iron and steel requirement of these engineering industries all over the State . To meet the iron and steel requirement of these engineering industries and extensive building programmes , during the sixties, two billet re-rolling mills came up in this State which could not meet even a fringe of the State's demand . As such , the State Government had to encourage scrap re-rolling mills in the small scale sector in the State . In the second plan period , two such scrap re-rolling mills in came up but during the decade as many as 14 more scrap re-rolling mills in the small scale sector came up in the State . The capacity of these re- rolling mills varies from 4,000 to 15,000 metric tonnes per annum . Each of these units provides employment to about 15 to 50 persons. These re-rolling mills together are now in a position to meet a partial requirement of the State for iron and steel of different sections. The Assam Udyog Company , the re-rolling mill located at Dibrugarh , is engaged in the production of rolled products like rods, bars etc. The mill is not working at its full capacity due to the shortage of raw materials.
Besides these industries in small scale sector, several small units manufacturing different items are scattered in Assam . Due to the paucity of information , these industries are not detailed .
Cottage Industries : Old time important cottage industries like weaving, sericulture, pottery, bamboo and caneworks, brass and bell metal, gold or silversmithy, blacksmithy, etc. which are still in existence have already been described above. A reference may, however , be made to the handpounding of rice. It is commonly practised in almost every household in the rural areas of the State . Every rural family has get a wooden instrument called Dheki to husk paddy by pounding it with the foot. The rural population regards it as an essential part of their family requirement and about tree-fourth of entire husked rice of the rural areas are processed in the Dheki.
Carpentry in the rural areas, is more or less a subsidiary occupation . Village carpenters do not specialise in any branch and generally do all types of works like furniture making , house building ,etc. Wooden agricultural implement like plough, harrow yoke etc. are main items manufactured by the village carpenters. Cart wheel and boats are also made.
Among other industries of the State , mention may be made of rope making net-making , bee keeping , leather tanning , oil crushing etc. practised by the individuals here and there in the State . In the sugarcane producing areas, gur making is also very common . In recent years, tailoring also appears to have made large inroads into interior areas of the State. Due to increasing use of bicycles, the cheapest means of conveyance, a number of cycle repairing shops are coming up both in the urban and rural areas of the State. They are mostly concentrated in urban and semi-urban areas.