It has become a niche to say that Manipur is industrially backward. Many reasons have also been cited for the backwardness. It is however not properly appreciated that the backwardness also conceals the various opportunities open. In fact, many different routes and patterns of industrialization can be thought of in the context of Manipur. Given the relativly satisfactory literacy rate, the geographical location linking India with South East Asia and the scope for contemporary weightless industrialization, Manipur beckons industrialization of the most modern kind. The State is a suitable place for knowledge-intensive industrialization with high learning components.
Though constrained by various limitations, the State Government has been making serious efforts for fostering conventional industrialization in the state. Apart from providing a package of incentives and concessions as laid out in its industrial policies and programmes in consonance with those of the Government of India, the State Government participated in the industrialization campaign with the incorporation of the Manipur Spinning Mills Corporation Ltd. in 1974 which started its commercial production in 1980. In order to facilitate growth of industries, the Manipur Small Industries Corporation was set up in 1969 and it was further upgraded to Manipur Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (MANIDCO) in 1987. Manipur Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd. was set up in 1976 to directly help production and marketing of handloom and handicraft products. Subsequently, State sponsored undertakings like, Manipur Electronics Development Corporation Ltd., Manipur Cements Ltd., Manipur State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Manipur Pulp and Allied Products Ltd. and Khandsari Sugar Factory as a Govt. factory came up in the State. Regional/State branch offices of Small Industries Service Institute, National Small Industries Corporation Ltd., Centre for Electronics Design & Technology and Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology also, came up in the State to invigorate the growth of industries. District Industries Centres were set up in the districts in 1978-79 and decentralization of industrial growth in the rural areas began. Schemes like Seed Margin Money, Self Employment for Educated Unemployed Youths and Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana were instrumented in the growth of industrial activities in the State.
In tune with the present trend of economic reforms and given the limited capacity of the State government, the various corporations are looking for investors for expansion.