Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu Monday launched the second phase of the district development plan (DDP) for Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The first phase of the plan involved identifying growth areas and mapping and determining the baseline for each of the earmarked districts and aimed to increase GDP growth by 2-3 per cent annually, thereby helping boost national GDP. Through a pilot project of the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), six districts Varanasi (UP), Muzaffarpur(Bihar) Visakhpatnam (AP) and Solan (HP), Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra have been identified for the district development plan. IIM Lucknow and NCAER have been selected to implement the exercise.
"The first phase has been completed and the next phase is taking forward the plan from the baseline," Prabhu said at the launch. The target is to devise and implement customised growth strategies for districts, focusing on their specific strengths in niche areas such as services, geographical indications (GI) and skills. If districts are the starting point for growth, the need for trickle-down effect and inclusive growth strategy are both eliminated, since growth is planned and implemented from the bottom up, he said.
If all the districts in the country grow by 3-4 per cent more by their normal growth rate, then India will grow by 3-4 per cent more, the minister said adding this is the basic idea behind the district development plan. An accelerated development plan has been prepared for both districts. The Marine Product Export Development Agency and Agriculture Price Export Development Agency have started taking steps to boost exports, he said. Besides, a Rs 550 crore plan is under consideration, which after approval, will give a big boost to tourism in the Konkan region, said the minister.
Prabhu also said that the Sindhudurg city airport will be inaugurated soon and both districts will soon be included under the government's regional connectivity scheme UDAN, giving a boost to air connectivity. Various steps have already been taken for development of air, road, rail and port infrastructure. The commerce minister noted that the World Bank maps of ease of doing business only for nations, not for districts, and have been asking the government about district-level mapping. The minister indicated that the government will now map the ease of doing business for districts as well.
(With inputs from agencies.)