Mumbai/Nagpur : Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister, said that, given their huge potential advantages, there is a need for Maharashtra to focus on biofuels and alternate fuels. Their strategic use will enable domestic industry to enhance its competitiveness, as well as lead to local employment opportunities. It will also save India a huge amount of foreign exchange.
Addressing MEDC’s 16th Dr. Dhananjayrao Gadgil Memorial Lecture held online on June 29th, 2021, Mr. Gadkari said that Dr. Gadgil was a great guide and philosopher to millions of the socioeconomically marginalized, and that Maharashtra’s successful cooperative story was due mainly to his efforts. It was particularly the rural and agricultural economy, as well as the farming community, which benefited by his visionary approach to development.
“The whole world wants to deal with India today. We have to learn to convert knowledge into wealth, and use our vast untapped potential productively. Giving appropriate vision to all youth is most important and it is Atmanirbhar Maharashtra that will pave the way for Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he said, adding that the time has come to frame a futuristic policy for Maharashtra, if we are to remain competitive in these times of uncertainty. In this regard, we need to go in for out-of-the-box solutions for the development of MSMEs. An import substitution policy would be a step in the right direction.
MEDC could come out with a vision document for the state of Maharashtra as a whole, as well as important individual metros therein. All these documents could be submitted to both his office as well as that of the Industries Minister of Maharashtra. Both the state and Central government would give them careful consideration, and ensure that the socioeconomic development of Maharashtra proceeds uninterrupted, he said. He assured all possible Central assistance to the state government and to the state industries minister in their quest to convert Maharashtra’s problems into opportunities.
Mr. Gadkari said that we need to proceed swiftly in the manufacturing of electric vehicles, as not only are they non-polluting, but they are also highly cost-effective compared to conventional petrol or diesel vehicles. He added that CNG is the fuel of the future, and that if all diesel tractors in Maharashtra could be converted to CNG-powered vehicles, it would lead to massive savings for the farmers. He added that there was a need to proceed aggressively with the industrialization of the tribal districts of Maharashtra, particularly Gadchiroli, Nandurbar and Washim.
The Guest of Honor on the occasion, Mr. Subhash Desai, Minister for Industries and Mining, Government of Maharashtra, said that the Chief Minister Employment Generation Programme was intended primarily for MSMEs. He assured that the state government will create a smooth atmosphere and a conducive atmosphere for the smooth functioning of MSMEs, which he described as the backbone of the economy.
Mr. Desai said that he looked forward to Mr. Gadkari’s enlightened leadership to give small-scale industry in Maharashtra a strong impetus, especially considering the damage it underwent due to the pandemic. Maharashtra had a high contribution to both export and manufacturing, and it remains India’s premier industrial state. He congratulated MEDC for completing 64 years of its existence, and for all the good work it has done regarding Maharashtra’s socioeconomic development.
In his welcome address, MEDC President Mr. Ravindra Boratkar said that there was no doubt that much of the economic growth witnessed in this difficult year was due to the sterling leadership provided by Mr. Gadkari, and his focus on quality infrastructure development. He thanked Mr. Subhash Desai for steering Maharashtra safely in these times of pandemic-induced uncertainty and ensuring that the state did not lose its industrial competitiveness despite all the problems it faced. He added that the Dr. D R Gadgil Memorial Lecture was an excellent opportunity for all the Chambers of Commerce in Maharashtra to come together annually,and voice their concerns and issues to the highest authorities in the land. He thanked all the Counsel-Generals present, as well as all the Presidents of the Chambers of Commerce, and the Past-Presidents and senior office bearers of the MEDC for attending the Lecture.