State Of The Economy 2016

Not-so-nano challenge

Even as SMEs in Sanand take on the bureaucracy, auto ancillaries are battling the dual challenge of unskilled labour and low volume

photographs: Soumik Kar

It takes us barely 45 minutes to reach the Sanand industrial estate from the Ellis Bridge area of Ahmedabad, hardly surprising considering the quality of Gujarat’s roads. When we eventually reach the 2,000-hectare industrial estate — perhaps the country’s youngest automotive cluster — the whole place seems neatly sectioned, well-marked, sparse, and quite spaced out. For an emerging industrial cluster, at first glance, Sanand seems awfully quiet. Very soon, we find out just why. As per the local industries association’s reckoning, close to 1,000 MSMEs that had been assigned plots at the Sanand estate have been slapped with penalties to the tune of Rs.1,000 crore over alleged non-utilisation of land.