West Bengal: Durga Puja economy creates 3 lakh job opportunities
Durga Puja, West Bengal's largest festival, has evolved into a magnanimous industry over the past few decades. The festival has been heavily commercialized by sponsors driving the concept of theme pujo to promote pandal hopping. The Rs. 40,000 crore economy creates a whopping three lakh jobs every year. According to stakeholders, a flurry of economic activity is experienced for a quarter of a year.
40,000 Durga Puja in West Bengal
There are over 40,000 community pujas across Bengal, with 3000 in Kolkata. "The grandeur around the festival involves transactions of not less than Rs. 40,000 crores and provides employment to at least two-three lakh people across the state as the activities for the festivities begin three-four months ahead," Partho Ghosh, chairman of Forum For Durgatsab (FFD), an umbrella organization of community pujas told PTI.
Involves people from various walks of life
Durga Puja involves people from different sectors of work -- workers who build pandals, artisans who make the idols, priests, dhakis, electricians, security guards, and those who prepare bhog. The baffling high number of employment isn't restricted to the unorganized sector. It also includes people associated with industries of fashion, beauty, hotels, travel, and entertainment, since they experience a sales boom as well.
Contribution to state economy
"We are sure that its (Durga Puja's) contribution to the state economy is either at par or bigger than the contribution of Rio de Janeiro carnival to the Brazilian city's economy and the cherry blossom festival in Japan," said FFD president, Kajal Sarkar. A study conducted by the British Council in 2019 showed that Durga Puja accounts for 2.58% of West Bengal's GDP.
Post-pandemic size of 'puja' economy is much more
Economist Debnarayan Sarkar clarified that Durga Puja is a consumption-led activity and has a multiplier effect on the state's GDP. Post-pandemic, the size of the puja economy this year is "much more" than what the British Council estimated some years back, Shashi Panja, West Bengal Industry Minister told PTI. According to FFD president, Kajal Sarkar, transactions could be up to Rs.50,000 crores this year.