The Centre is focussed on securing sustainable growth in eastern India and productive capacity in the region can be raised by boosting connectivity, social security schemes, agriculture and Make in India drive, Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha has said.
“The Centre has laid emphasis on sustainable growth of eastern India. Productive capacity in the country as a whole and eastern region in particular needs to be raised for economic growth,” Sinha said at a function organised by a TV channel here.
Stating that both hard and soft assets are important for productive capacity in eastern India, Sinha said hard assets include roads, bridges, highways, ports and educational infrastructures.
Soft assets include skills and employability of young people, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Minister said.
By building productive capacity in the country, mainly in eastern region, there would be greater ability for sustained growth over a long period of time which is extremely important, he added.
He further said that it is necessary for states in eastern India to log growth of at least 8-10 per cent for decades to develop full potential of the region.
Though eastern India is rich in resources, talents and potential, its people are poor, Sinha lamented and said unless businesses, trade and commerce flourish, no resources will be able to come up with good pro-poor policies and allocate enough funds to pull the poor out of their condition.
The NDA government believes in minimum government and maximum governance and the principle of cooperative federalism to develop policies between the Centre and states. Unless the states grow and the eastern India grows, the country as a whole cannot progress, he said.
Efforts are on for the development of roads and ports in this region including Odisha, while priority is also for providing telecom, mobile and Internet services in the hinterlands of the eastern region, he said.
Thrust is also on a series of social security programmes which are going to be beneficial for the country, he said, adding that programmes like Jan-Dhan Yojana, Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Suraksha Bima Yojana and Universal Health Coverage would be equally important for the eastern India to ensure robust safety net for everybody.
The third area is agriculture for which irrigation is important to enable farmers grow multiple crops, he said, adding that through Pradhan Mantri Krushi Sinchai Yojana, the government is trying to make sure that at least 60 per cent of land in the country gets irrigation.
Finally, the NDA government is focusing on ‘Make in India’ which aims at covering many industries in eastern India.
“Whether it is in iron and steel, in refining, aluminium, we have to ensure that we are globally competitive industries,” Sinha said.
A number of steps including auctioning of natural resources, iron ore mines, infrastructure and building power plants have also been taken to support industrialisation, the minister said.