Trade, Imports, Exports for MSMEs: India may soon get sugar used in hotels, restaurants, airlines for tea, coffee etc. replaced by honey as the government is mulling on promoting the use of honey to boost village industries turnover. “The most important industry we have selected is the honey industry (under village industries) and I am trying to replace sugar by honey for usage tea and coffee in planes, hotels, restaurants,” Nitin Gadkari, MSME Minister said on Thursday. The minister said the government’s concentration is on khadi and village industries and to increase its turnover to Rs 1 lakh this year. India’s honey market size was Rs 1557.9 crore in 2018 and is likely to grow to Rs 2805.7 crore by 2024, as per a report by market research firm Imarc.
“Our concentration is on village industries and 115 aspirational districts like Arunanchal, Meghalaya, Tripura, Leh, Ladakh, Kashmir etc are on priority. The turnover in village industries was Rs 75,000 crore and it will be Rs 1 lakh crore this year,” said Gadkari. The minister had earlier also stressed on enhancing khadi and village industries and turnover and boosting employment potential. The growth, according to Gadkari, will come from areas including honey, fisheries, biofuels, bamboo, forest products etc.
Speaking at the annual conference of the Indian National Association of Club of Rome — 2020, the minister highlighted the Khadi Gram Udyog projects launched in Srinagar to make handkerchiefs using spinning wheels (charkha) to give assured employment to women in the region. The price per handkerchief is Rs 50, cheaper from branded handkerchiefs, he added. “We have given work 12 organisations in Srinagar employing 2,000 women. We have targeted 20,000 women workers. This will give assured employment to them. We are ready to take this in Ladakh and Leh as well,” Gadkari said. The government had earlier announced making use of earthenware (kulhad) mandatory at 400 railway stations, airports etc.