Commerce Minister Launches Phase II Of District Development Plan For Ratnagiri & Sindhudurg,
If districts of India grow by 3%-4% more by their normal growth rate, then India will grow by 3%-4% more. This is the basic idea behind the District Development Plan, a pilot project of DIPP, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, said the Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu in Mumbai. This is in contrast to the philosophy in vogue since 1991, which depends on the trickle-down effect of a macro-level growth strategy. This also necessitated another intervention for ensuring growth is inclusive. However, if districts are made the starting point for growth, the need for trickle-down effect and the need for inclusive growth strategy are both eliminated, since growth is planned and implemented from the bottom-up, by including everyone. The Minister explained this while launching the Phase II of the District Development Plan for Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. The Plan is being implemented in a total of six districts in five states, Maharashtra being the only state where two districts have been selected. Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Solan in Himachal Pradesh are the other four districts.
The Minister said that growth areas have been identified and district-level plans have been prepared in Phase I. The target is to devise and implement customized growth strategies for districts, focusing on their specific strengths in niche areas such as services, Geographical Indications and skills. IIM Lucknow and NCAER have been selected to implement the exercise.
The Minister stated that a holistic plan including infrastructure and human resources requirements such as training have been worked out. An Accelerated Development Plan has been prepared for both districts. Marine Product Export Development Agency and Agriculture Price Export Development Agency have started taking steps to boost exports. A Rs. 550 crore plan is under consideration, which after approval, will give a big boost to tourism in the Konkan region, said the Minister. Sindhudurg city airport will be inaugurated soon and both districts will soon be included under UDAN, giving a boost to air connectivity. Various steps have already been taken for development of air, road, rail and port infrastructure. The plans proposed to be implemented will be of particular benefit for fishermen, farmers, women and youth of the two districts. Shri Prabhu said that the recently conducted Startup Yatra will enable more people from these regions to become entrepreneurs.
The Minister informed that Indian Institute of Packaging has already designed a packaged product for agricultural products of Sindhudurg. If packaging is proper, the price a product commands becomes much more. It also ensures durability, minimizing wastage, said the Minister. Korean and Japanese companies are very eager to invest in marine product packaging in the district, added Shri Prabhu.
The Commerce Minister observed that the World Bank does mapping of Ease of Doing Business only for nations, not for districts; they have been asking the Government about district-level mapping. The Government is now going to do Ease of Doing Business mapping for districts as well, informed the Minister.
Shri Prabhu said that the combined effect of district-level growth targeting and Ease of Doing Business mapping will lead to a transformative change in the economy of these districts as well as that of the nation. He said that the six districts chosen will, in turn, become a guiding force for all districts of the country. The income of people in these districts will increase, this is the beginning of a very interesting phase of growth, stated the Minister.
He added that a national level workshop will be held on the Plan, and invited the media too to participate in the same.
Officials of NCAER, district collectors and other officials of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg and representatives of various institutions and organizations such as IIP were present on the occasion and shared their appreciation for the initiative.
Addressing the media afterwards, the Minister said that the Global Aviation Summit 2019 that is going to be inaugurated in Mumbai tomorrow is going to be the first-of-its-kind event in the world, as it brings all stakeholders involved in the sector under the same roof, with the participation of delegates from around 86 countries. The Civil Aviation Minister said that India is the right country to host such a summit since India's aviation sector is the fastest growing in the world for the last five years. The Minister informed Vision 2040 for the aviation sector will be launched during the summit. The Air Cargo Policy is also going to be unveiled during the Summit, said the Minister.
Replying to a question on Air India, Shri Prabhu said that the goal of the Government is to professionalize Air India at all levels and to ensure that the airline maintains the highest standards of safety, operational efficiency and customer service.