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Salt Industry In Gujarat

When it comes to salt production, India is ranked third in the world, behind China and the USA. The state of Gujarat accounts for 77% of the salt produced in the country. Some of the areas in the state where the salt industry is thriving are Kutch, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Porbandar, Anand, Valsad, Patan, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Surendranagar, Bharuch, Navsari and Banasaktha districts. Close to 1.09lac workers are employed in the salt industry of Gujarat.

During the years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, the total salt production in the country were 191.51, 239.51 and 186.10 lakh metric tonnes respectively. Out of this, Gujarat’s contribution in the order of the years was 149.03, 179 and 145.16 lakh metric tonnes respectively.  The number of salt manufacturing units and other chemical units related to this industry in the state are shown in the table below:

The number of units according to their area can be seen in the table below:

For the purpose of salt manufacture, Gujarat State Government gives land on lease. The royalty that it connects in return is at the rate of Rs.8 per tonne of separation of salt from salt works. Exemptions on royalty payment are provided to individuals owning 4 hectares of land, cooperative housing societies owning up to 500 acres of land and agariyas owning land up to 10 acres. For the last three years of 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, the royalty amount collected by the State Government was 888lakhs, 963lakhs and 1030 lakhs respectively (all amounts in INR).

All salt works having land of maximum of 100 acres had to pay cess charges of Rs.1.75 per metric tonne to the State Government for removal of salt. The amount stood at Rs.3.50 per metric tonne for salt works having more than 100 acres of land. Cess charges exemption is provided to agariyas and cooperative societies having up to 10 acres of land. Dealers of salt export through sea are also exempt from cess. For the 3 years of 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, cess charges collected by the State Government was 250.07lakhs, 282,93lakhs and 285.18 lakhs INR respectively. For the same period, Agariya Welfare activities received assistance to the tune of 11.42lakhs, 21.53lakhs and 19.41lakhs INR respectively.

Scheme for Assistance for development of salt industries and labour welfare scheme for agariyas

The State Government of Gujarat got the sanction and approval from the Chairmanship of the committee empowered with developing small and cottage industries in the state, to set up a variety of assistance programmes for the agariyas’ welfare activities. The assistance amount provided for the years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 for welfare activity was 1898.70lakhs, 2308.26lakhs and 382.03lakhs INR respectively. For the same period of 3 years, assistance for development schemes was 2201.30lakhs, 1444.29 and 3745.97lakhs INR respectively.

The objectives of these assistance programmes implemented by the State Government were:

  • Salt works to get proper approach roads
  • Constant supply of drinking water to agariyas
  • Mobile ration and medical facilities for agariyas
  • Access to proper classrooms for agariyas’ students
  • Provision of uniforms for all agariyas’ students
  • Access to safety kits
  • Access to bicycles
  • Getting agariyas enrolled in JanShri Bima Yojana
  • Access to multi-purpose centres for agariyas

 

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