Britannia Announces Closure of Historic Factory in Kolkata’s Taratala

Kolkata, June 25, 2024 — Britannia Industries, one of India’s leading biscuit manufacturers, has announced the closure of its historic factory in Taratala, Kolkata. This factory, a landmark institution established in 1947, has been a significant part of the city’s industrial landscape for 77 years.

The company revealed that all employees have accepted the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) offered to them. The closure marks the end of an era for the Taratala facility, which has been a cornerstone of Britannia’s production network since India’s independence.

Britannia’s decision to shut down the factory has sparked a political controversy, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) targeting the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). The BJP has criticized TMC, alleging that the party's policies and governance have created an environment hostile to industry and investment.

"Industry will not come in the presence of a party which always extorts & also there is an anti-industry image of the chief minister," a BJP spokesperson said in a statement. The BJP's comments highlight ongoing concerns about the business climate in West Bengal under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's administration.

The closure of the Taratala plant is a significant blow to Kolkata’s industrial sector, which has seen a gradual decline over recent years. The factory was known for producing some of Britannia's most popular biscuit brands, including Good Day, Marie Gold, and Bourbon.

In response to the closure and the BJP's allegations, TMC officials have defended their administration, arguing that the decision by Britannia was a corporate one and not influenced by state policies. They emphasized their commitment to attracting and retaining industries in West Bengal, pointing to various initiatives aimed at improving infrastructure and ease of doing business in the state.

As Britannia winds down operations at its Taratala facility, the company has assured that it will continue to invest in other parts of the country, enhancing its production capabilities to meet growing consumer demand. Britannia’s management has expressed gratitude to the employees and the city of Kolkata for their decades of support and contribution to the company’s success.

The closure of Britannia’s Taratala factory is a poignant moment, reflecting broader challenges and transitions in India’s industrial landscape. The political ramifications and the impact on the local economy will likely be felt for some time, as stakeholders from all sides assess the future of industrial investment in West Bengal.