India's sustainable development for the next 50 years needs a new vision that must keep the poor, marginalised farmers and masses in focus rather than only metropolis development, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said today.
India’s sustainable development for the next 50 years needs a new vision that must keep the poor, marginalised farmers and masses in focus rather than only metropolis development, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said today. “There is a need to formulate a new vision for the next 50 years for sustainable and inclusive development of the country that should not focus only on metropolises but takes care of the poor, the marginalised farmers and common people,” the minister for road transport, highways, shipping, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation said at the Sustainability Summit organised by CII here.
Stating unequivocally that sustainable development is top on the government’s agenda, the minister said huge capital was invested in the public sector 1947 onwards and today that capital has been wiped out, with PSUs running into losses and many on the verge of closure. “It is the result of wrong economic policies and visionless governments that neglected agriculture and rural sectors forcing mass exodus of rural population to urban areas,” the minister said, adding that a new planning is needed to reverse this and for development of neglected sectors.
He cited an example of the road sector where consistent efforts proved helpful for the banking sector by preventing Rs 3 lakh crore projects from turning into NPAs as the government revived 403 stalled projects. The minister also emphasised on the need to boost exports, besides promoting use of non-conventional fuel to check Rs 7 lakh crore crude oil import bill. For good measure, he spoke of the government’s focus on waterways besides linking rivers, adding that there were 70 projects on the Ganga and waste could be converted into wealth by recycling water and using the same for projects.
At the same time, efforts are on to reduce logistics cost, which read 16-18 per cent for India compared to 8-10 per cent in China and 12-13 per cent in Europe. The minister pointed out that projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore in the logistics sector will be implemented, which is bound to reduce the burden and promote profitability.