Despite rich mineral resources, Jharkhand has been slow to develop industry. A number of Industrial Area Development authorities have been set up by the state government to boost the pace of development. Most industrial workers are employed in household industries; the rest are employed in steel and other metal-based and food-processing industries.
Ranchi, Bokaro, and Jamshedpur rank among the largest industrial complexes in India.
Regional industrial distribution shows heavy concentration in the two plateau districts of Singhbhum and
Dhanbad. It is, however, possible to recognize several significant zones of economic development.
Singhbhum, the richest mineral-bearing district, is important for heavy industries.
Jamshedpur, the seat of ironworks and steelworks, has also attracted a number of satellite engineering industries. Copper is smelted at Moubhandar near
Ghatsila. Chaibasa manufactures cement from Jamshedpur slag, and there is sheet-glass manufacturing at
Kandra. Other industrial centres include Ranchi (heavy machinery), Dalmianagar (paper, cement, chemicals), Barauni (petrochemicals), and Patna (light manufacturing). Among the agriculturally based industries are sugar refining, tobacco processing, silk production, and jute milling.
The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is the most prominent multipurpose project of
Jharkhand; four hydroelectric dams forming a series of reservoirs have been constructed under the DVC at
Tilaiya, Maithon, Konar, and Panchet Hill. These have been supplemented by other hydroelectric projects and by thermal power stations, but the state has a chronic power shortage.