Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari, said entrepreneurs should focus on the rural and agricultural sectors to provide a stimulus to the economy.
“If we want to achieve a $5 trillion economy we need to focus on initiatives like converting agriculture waste into biofuels. I would like new entrepreneurs to focus on rural areas and on the agricultural sector,” he said. Mr. Gadkari was speaking at an event organised by the Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) on Friday.
Referring to farmers’ leader Sharad Joshi’s description of ‘India vs Bharat’, Mr. Gadkari said there was still a disparity between urban centres like Mumbai and Delhi which constitute ‘India’ and rural areas, which were ‘Bharat’.
“Until the industries are developed in agricultural, rural and tribal areas, the country won’t develop,” he said. He cited the example of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, which will go through rural and tribal belts of four States.
“Around 95% of land acquisition has been done and within three years, this road will be completed,” he said. On a 10-km stretch from Delhi, there will be an e-highway, he said. This will have a dedicated lane with overhead electric wires through which heavy vehicles can charge their batteries.
Mr. Gadkari said import substitution was also needed for the economy to grow and more initiatives needed to come in the area of biofuels and bio aviation fuel in particular, which makes up a huge chunk of our import bill. “We will be saving nearly ₹40,000 crore worth of imports if we adopt bio aviation fuel. If entrepreneurs take this up, it is a market worth ₹40,000 crore,” the minister said.