A state rich in mineral resources, Assam is industrially backward by Indian standards as it has a few agro-based and mineral-based industries. The 150 years old Tea industry occupies an integral place in the economy.


Of the agriculture-based industries, tea occupies an important place in Assam. In Assam, tea is grown both in the Brahmaputra and Barak plains. Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Nagaon and Sonitpur are the districts where tea gardens are mostly found. Assam produces 51% of the tea produced in India and about 1/6th of the tea produced in the world.

In 1970, the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre was established for better marketing of the tea produced in the region. This is the world's largest CTC tea auction centre and the world's second largest in terms of total tea. It now auctions more than 150 million kg of tea valued at more than Rs 550.00 crores annually.

Tea industry has contributed substantially to the economy of Assam. About 17 percent of the workers of Assam are engaged in the tea industry.


Assam has the oldest refinery in the country which started commercial production in 1901. Assam was the first state in the country where in 1889 oil was struck at Digboi in Tinsukia district. The refinery, now belonging to the Assam Division of the Indian Oil Corporation, has a refining capacity of 3 lakh tonnes of petrol, kerosene, diesel and other petroleum products.

The second refinery in Assam was set up at Noonmati in Guwahati under the public sector. It started production in 1962. It produces liquified petroleum gas (LPG), petrol, kerosene, diesel, furnace oil, coke etc.

The third refinery in the region was established at Dhaligoan near Bongaigaon in 1962. It is known as Bongaigaon Refinery and Petro-Chemicals Limited (BRPL).

The fourth refinery in the state was established at Numaligarh of Golaghat district in 1999, with a refining capacity of 3 million tonnes of oil and other products.


Like petroleum, natural gas is a valuable source of power and various other chemical by-products. In Assam, almost all the petroleum producing areas of the Brahmaputra Valley, especially Naharkatia, Moran, Lakuwa and Rudrasagar, contains 'associated natural gas'.
There are LPG bottling plants at Duliajan, North Guwahati, Silchar etc. The BRPL also uses natural gas as raw material to produce various chemicals.


Assam has large reserves of coal too. The State is said to contain about 1200 million tonnes of coal reserves. The entire coal in this region is unique in the sense that it is highly volatile(36% - 42%), has low ash content (3% - 15%) and possesses high crackling index ( 10% - 29%).


Assam is endowed with granites of variegated colours, ranging from off-white to grey and pink. It is found in central and lower parts of Assam. The grey granite is extensively used in road making and as a railway ballast. So far, it has hardly been exploited for decorative purposes and has great potential.


Limestone is an important mineral which is used in the manufacture of cement, as flux in iron and steel production, and as raw materials for chemical industries. There are now several cement factories which have come up in Assam duetothe availability ofhigh quality limestone in the region.


Tourism has become an important industry in many countries of the world, both in the east and the west. Various initiatives are being taken by the Government and other organisations to promote tourism here. Every year the number of visitors to Assam has been steadily increasing.


Assam was traditionally famous for it's cottage industry, especially spinning and weaving. Pat or pure silk production is essentially confined to Assam. Assam produces about 10% of total natural silk of India.

Assam also produces Muga, the golden silk. Assam is also the main producer of Eri or Endi. Weaving is an important cottage industry of Assam. It is a traditional industry which can be traced back to very ancient times.

There are about 7,00,000 looms in Assam, where majority are primitive foot looms. Only some looms of Sualkuchi, used for commercial production of silk cloth, are powered.

Bell-metal work is a traditional cottage industry of Assam. The products made of bell-metal are traditional plates, cups, tumblers, pitchers, bowls, sarais (a tray with a stand), dwarf pitchers, pots, hookahs and musical instruments.

Brass-work is also an important traditional handicraft of Assam. Brass articles are produced not only for day-to-day use, but also for interior decoration. The total production of marketable finished goods annually is about 300 tonnes.

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