Gadkari is especially keen on mass-scale honey production besides promoting products like moringa, which are in big demand globally.
Union Minister Nitin Jairam Gadkari in his second innings has lined up big plans - from infusing Rs 15 lakh crore in highways to propelling GDP growth by globalising khadi and MSME products. After taking charge of Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) ministries, Gadkari told PTI that the mission is to further propel the country's economic growth through concerted efforts, be it in highways or MSME.
The blueprint for highways is already in place. We plan to take up work worth at least Rs 15 lakh crore in highways that includes building 22 green expressways, rolling out all stuck projects in the next 100 days and creating a 'grid of roads' at par with power grid," Gadkari said. The minister said during his previous tenure, his ministries - Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River development - in a cumulative basis, had seen a spend of Rs 17 lakh crore that included Rs 11 lakh crore in highways sector alone. About the MSME Ministry, the senior BJP leader said his endeavour would be to globalise MSME and Khadi products through joint ventures. He added he was especially keen on mass-scale honey production besides promoting products like moringa, which are in big demand globally. The focus will be rural areas, and forming clusters of potters, people dependent on leather industries and giving them assistance with new technology aimed at promoting export of these products, he said.
Citing the example of coir, he said small scale industries will be promoted, and noted that the plan is to make coir industry a Rs 20,000 crore economy from the present Rs 10,000 crore. "I am confident that these are going to create huge employment and propel GDP growth which will apparently be visible in the next two to three years," he said. Khadi will be another thriving area, he said. A day earlier, Gadkari said the MSME ministry will work with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to look at the possibility for MSMEs to locally manufacture goods which are currently being imported by India. "We have asked our secretary and economic advisor to study with the commerce ministry about the goods which we are importing, and if they can be manufactured by small-scale industries here," Gadkari had said.
This portfolio is associated with the most important issue - the country's growth rate and employment potential. And it is the PM's expectation that employment should increase from this sector, which is very low now, and there should be creation of employment".
The minister was speaking to reporters about the MSME Ministry at his residence in Nagpur. MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy and account for more than 45 percent of the total manufacturing output of the country.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gadkari won the Nagpur seat by defeating Congress candidate and BJP rebel Nana Patole by a margin of more than two lakh votes. In 2014, he had contested for General Elections for the first time and won from Nagpur constituency.
Gadkari was also appointed as BJP President in 2009 in a tough phase when the party had lost two consecutive general elections. He resigned as party President in 2013.
Besides the MSME Ministry, Gadkari has now retained charge of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. He said that he has set a new target of laying 40 kms of road everyday over the next one-and-a-half years.
The minister also said that he has decided to create roadside amenities across the country. "I got an opportunity to work on road transport, and this time, I have decided to plant 125 crore trees, as much as the country's population, along the roads in the next five years.
"I am thinking to work on creating roadside amenities in a big way and 2,000 such amenities would be set up. Work has started on the Mumbai-Delhi Expressway and 12 other expressway projects will be completed in the next three months," he said.he Minister said during his previous tenure, his ministries -- Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River development -- in a cumulative basis, had seen a spend of Rs 17 lakh crore that included Rs 11 lakh crore in highways sector alone.
Referring to the momentous victory of BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gadkari said the resounding mandate by the people rising above petty party-politics, caste-creed or communalism has reaffirmed that ..