The Government is considering giving the Geographically Indication (GI) tag to many more commodities including cashew, litchi, sarees and marine products.
So far total of 320 products have been given GI status in India and they have been registered. Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina are among registered GIs in India. Karnataka tops with 38 GI products, followed by Maharashtra which has 32.
The government of India has identified six districts across the country with great potential for economic development. These districts include Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Solan in Himachal Pradesh.
Terming this as District Development Plan, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu said here on Monday addressing media that the objective of identifying these districts is to make them grow faster than their existing growth rate. “We aim to achieve at least 3-4 per cent higher growth in these districts with a proper plan in place which needs to be executed properly.”
Prabhu cited the example of Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri, saying that the Union Government is ready to provide adequate infrastructure to support agricultural growth in these two districts of Maharashtra where more than 80 per cent people are literate. ”Mango, cashew, marine products etc are some of the potential area where we see great opportunity in these districts.”
“Litchi in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district is the best fruit available there and is world class. But its marketing needs to be done to bring the entire farming and processing to the global arena. That is why we have taken a co-ordinated effort with the respective state governments to promote agricultural and other potential industries including tourism and others on the global map,” said Prabhu.
The government has taken a customised view on every district to promote them separately. From Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the government plans to promote Sarees. Similarly from Vizag, marine products would be a better choice.
Prabhu said that the whole idea of this exercise is to make a concerted effort with growth beginning from districts to reaching to the Centre, instead of the current practice of policy building in Delhi and reaching out to districts with a lag.
“If the country’s economic growth stands supposedly at 7 per cent today, 3 per cent of additional growth in districts would take the entire country’s economic growth at 10 per cent,” he added.
The capital expenditure in these districts, however, would be borne by industry, local government’s budgetary allocations and also from the Centre, if need be.