Minister for Finance T.M.Thomas Issac has said that the focus of the Government’s economic plan now was to develop IT sand tourism industries while protecting the farm and traditional sectors.

Inaugurating the new bus stand here on Saturday, the minister said that there was an economic change taking place in the State and the new generation needs jobs outside traditional sectors. This will be realised without harming the security enjoyed by the farm sector, he said.

Mr. Issac said there was a change in the orthodox concepts of development. “To meet requirements which are unaffected by any lapse of time and to find resources to meet those requirements,” is his concept of development, which he believes is key to prosperity in the State. He said waiting for resources to accumulate and then to begin development works was impractical. Infrastructure work must be taken up as and when required and the resources must be mustered, he said. “If there is a will to find resources, there is no limit,” he said, adding that any lack could be borrowed from the State and repaid at a later date, without hurting development projects. He encouraged local bodies to take up the practice of mustering resources independently.

Sand Mining

The minister said that the commercial sand mining in the Lower Periyar, Kallakutty and Idukki dam reservoir areas would be taken up on a commercial basis next week. The removal of silt and mining of sand would be first done in the Lower Periyar area and Malabar Cements has been assigned the job in the three dams, he said. Imported modern equipment will be used for the sand mining, he said and added that it will generate income to the treasury, a portion of which will be used for development of the Idukki district.

The Centre has sought international funding for conducting sand mining and desilting work to strengthen many dams. “Though I am not aware that there was great demand for sands in other States, Kerala has shown that the dam can be desilted and an amount generated thus will be used for development projects.

He said that modern, environment friendly practices of sand mining would be taken up on commercial basis.

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