Union minister Nitin Gadakri on Friday said that plans are afoot to take khadi and village industries turnover to Rs 2 trillion in the next five years from Rs 75,000 crore at present.
Urging the industry to expand its share in global trade to about 10 per cent, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Minister Gadkari also urged players to grab the opportunity to expand in the wake of China — that accounts for 17 per cent of the global trade business — battling increased cost and difficulties.
“The turnover of khadi and village industries is Rs 75,000 crore at present. Steps are on to take it to Rs 2 trillion in five years,” Gadkari said while addressing industry body Ficci’s 92nd annual convention. He said infrastructure sectors along with MSME has potential to help India becoming $5 trillion economy.
“China has a good record in trade business and accounts for 17 per cent of the global exports. Our share is barely 2.6 per cent. We have an opportunity to take it to 8 to 10 per cent... especially when China is facing difficulties at present besides increase in costs. We should eye at increasing our share,” the minister said, adding “it is a blessing in disguise”.
He said he was “saddened” to see India importing commodities like coal, newsprint, and other things despite having huge dry-fuel reserves and scope of indigenous production.
“I am saddened to see huge imports...It is a matter of concern that we have capacity to export huge coal but we are importing it. Coal can be transported from Paradip port to Kandla for power plants in the Western region. This will bring down power prices by 35 to 40 paise per unit,” Gadkari said.
No driverless cars
The minister also said he will not allow driverless cars in India, which has a shortage of 22 lakh drivers. Speaking at an Assocham event, he said, “Many times I am asked what about driverless car? Then I say till the time I am transport minister, you forget that. I will not allow driverless car to come in India.” Stating that India has a shortage of 22 lakh drivers, Gadkari said there was a need for growth of employment as well as industry in the country.