Business and Economy of Silvassa
Wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat and spread over an area of 491 sq. kms, Silvassa is a quiet and beautiful capital of the union territory, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. As history tells, this region was mainly a tribal rich town, making it an agricultural prone place.
With the freedom of Silvassa from Portuguese rule, and becoming a part of the Republic of India, the place has developed to become a leading industrial hub of Western India. During the initial days, the government had provided a tax free status for all the industrial players, thereby boosting investment in the whole union territory. Silvassa has grown over the years to such an extent, that it is considered as the largest collector of Excise duty in the small and medium industry bracket among the Indian states.
Agricultural Growth in SilvassaWith a large tribal population residing, the main occupation of Silvassa is agriculture. Almost 48% of the total occupied land area is under cultivation. The town got its name from “Silva” which means wood. 53% of the total territory area is under forest. One of the main tribes is Warli, 60% of which is into agriculture. Paddy is the main food crop of the town, cultivated on almost 40% of the total cultivable land. Tribals are also into production of:
Crops- Ragi, Small Millets, Jowar, Tur, Nagli and Val
Vegetables- Tomato, Cauliflower, Brinjal and Cabbage
Fruits- Mango, Guava, Chikoo, Banana, Coconut and Sugarcane
Industrialization in SilvassaIndustrialization began in the year of 1965, when government tried to boost the economy and thus making this a no tax zone for all the industrial investors. This initiative culminated to a growth rate of 5% increase annually in Silvassa’s employment generation. Silvassa became the fore runner in this development with the establishment of a co-operative sector in 1965 by an organization named the Dan Udyog Sahakari Sangh Ltd. This institution helped the local craftsmen into traditional cottage industries like making of clay items, shoe and sandal workshops and bamboo artworks.
By 1970, almost 30 new industrial players entered the Silvassa economy. In the process, numerous small factories of engineering, fabric weaving units, dyeing and printing units got established here.
In 1971, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were declared as an industrially backward area by Indian government. This led to an increase in the cash subsidy from 15% to 25% with validity till 30th September 1988, which again attracted new industrial growth.
Finally in 1985, Silvassa became an established industrial estate of the entire union territory along with Masat and Khadoli. The subsidy reduction scheme was however terminated in 30th September 1988.
Implementation of Sales Tax Act happened from January 1984 till 1998, which gave industries sales tax exemption for 15 years from the start-up date. VAT was introduced in 2005. Moreover Central Sales Tax exemption has been given to all the new plants by government till 2017.
The landscape of Silvassa currently has changed a lot due to the presence of multiple industries in various fields like FMCG, Gensets, Electronics, Heavy Engineering goods, Chemical, insecticides, Paints etc. One of the main hubs of India’s plastic production is Silvassa.
Some of the main industries leading to Silvassa’s growth over the years are;
- Hind Aluminium
- Ramco Industries Ltd.
- Sterlite Industries
- Gulf Oil
- Reliance Industries
- Hindustan Unilever