Thursday, May 22, 2008

Centre boost to backward regions- 15 districts to be on industry map

The Telegraph (Kolkata), May 5, 2008

Bhubaneswar, May 5: Focusing on inclusive growth, the Centre today asked the state government to identify 15 industrially backward and under-developed districts and draw up sector-specific plans.

The 15 districts would be among the 600 industrially backward and underdeveloped districts across the country.

Union minister of state for industries, Ashwani Kumar, who met chief minister Naveen Patnaik this afternoon, told reporters that they discussed several major issues, including improving the pace of development, special priority to backward KBK region and need to diversify the industrial map.

Stating that the Centre is focusing on inclusive growth, the minister said Orissa’s industrial development had been largely mineral-based and resource-based. “We need to diversify,” he said, emphasising on the promotion of agro-based, food processing, leather, steel intermediaries, automobile and other related industries.

“We should not just concentrate on Bhubaneswar and Cuttack alone and should create conducive atmosphere for industries in the districts which are backward and underdeveloped,” he said.

It is being said that the chief minister appreciated the idea of promoting industrial development in backward areas and assured to fully co-operate with the Centre in this regard.

The chief minister also asked officials to formulate sector-specific plans to promote potential industries in the backward areas.

The Union minister’s is visiting states to identify the industrially backward areas.

“By the end of June, we will be able to complete the interaction with the state governments and by July we will formulate a policy which will be placed before the Union cabinet,” the Union minister said.

The clear emphasis in the meeting was on the need for development of infrastructure to facilitate industrial investment in backward areas, as stressed on by the chief minister.

Naveen Patnaik suggested the upgradation of the NH-215 and construction of Ranchi-Vijaywada highway passing through the rebel-hit areas of Orissa.

The chief minister also urged the Centre for better rail connectivity for Malkangiri and incentives for entrepreneurs and traders in the KBK region.

No comments: