is the leading occupation in West Bengal. Rice is the state's
principal food crop. Other food crops are maize, pulses, oil seeds,
wheat, barley, tobacco, sugarcane and potatoes. Jute is the main
cash crop of the region. Tea is also produced commercially; the
region is well known for Darjeeling and other high quality teas.
However, the service sector is the largest contributor to the gross
domestic product of the state, contributing 51% of the state
domestic product compared to 27% from agriculture and 22% from
industry. State industries are localized in the Kolkata region and
the mineral-rich western highlands. Durgapur–Asansol colliery belt
is home to a number of major steel plants. Manufacturing industries
playing an important economic role are engineering products,
electronics, electrical equipment, cables, steel, leather, textiles,
jewellery, frigates, automobiles, railway coaches, and wagons.
A significant part of the state is economically backward, namely,
large parts of six northern districts of Cooch Behar, Darjeeling,
Jalpaiguri, Malda, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur; three western
districts of Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum; and the Sundarbans area.
Years after independence, West Bengal was still dependent on the
central government for meeting its demands for food; food production
remained stagnant and the Indian green revolution bypassed the
state. However, there has been a significant spurt in food
production since the 1980s, and the state now has a surplus of
grains. The state's share of total industrial output in India was
9.8% in 1980–81, declining to 5% by 1997–98. However, the service
sector has grown at a rate higher than the national rate.
West Bengal has the third largest economy (2003–2004) in India, with
a net state domestic product of US$ 21.5 billion. During 2001–2002,
the state's average SDP was more than 7.8% — outperforming the
National GDP Growth. The state has promoted foreign direct
investment, which has mostly come in the software and electronics
fields; Kolkata is becoming a major hub for the Information
technology (IT) industry. Owing to the boom in Kolkata's and the
overall state's economy, West Bengal is now the third fastest
growing economy in the country. However, the rapid industrialisation
process has given rise to debate over land acquisition for industry
in this agrarian state. NASSCOM–Gartner ranks West Bengal power
infrastructure the best in the country. West Bengals state domestic
product (SDP) grew in 2004 with 12.7 % and in 2005 with 11.0 % .
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