Need farm sector income at more than 24% of GDP to realise ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ dream: Gadkari

Need farm sector income at more than 24% of GDP to realise 'AtmaNirbhar Bharat' dream: Gadkari

Synopsis

“Our agriculture and allied sector income is 12 per cent of the GDP, manufacturing sector income is 22 to 24 per cent, and service sector is 52 to 54 per cent. I have come here to say that till the time this 12 per cent (of agriculture and allied sectors) does not go beyond 24 per cent, there are difficulties in making ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’,” he said.

India will find it difficult to realise the ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant) vision till the share of the agriculture and allied sectors in the GDP crosses 24 per cent, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday, pitching for the introduction of technologies in farming and rural and tribal areas. The minister was speaking at the 22nd convocation of Sri Balaji University here.

“Our agriculture and allied sector income is 12 per cent of the GDP, manufacturing sector income is 22 to 24 per cent, and service sector is 52 to 54 per cent. I have come here to say that till the time this 12 per cent (of agriculture and allied sectors) does not go beyond 24 per cent, there are difficulties in making ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’,” he said.

Gadkari stressed the need for the introduction of technology in rural and tribal regions saying it will alleviate poverty and hunger and elevate the areas from an economic perspective and create job opportunities.

“Till the time, we do not augment water, transportation and communication facilities in certain areas, industries won’t come,” he said. Industries come with capital investment, which has the potential to create jobs, said Gadkari.

Addressing the management students, the minister shared an anecdote about the Pune-Mumbai Expressway during his tenure as Maharashtra’s PWD minister in the mid-1990s, when the BJP-Shiv Sena government was in power.

Gadkari said he did not accept the Reliance Group’s bid, which was the lowest, and instead got the carriageway made through a government entity for Rs 1,600 crore.

“Tenders were invited and the lowest tender was from Dhirubhai Ambani-led Reliance Group, which was Rs 3600 crore, and as per rules, the work should have been given to the lowest bidder,” he recalled.

Gadkari said his conscience told him that the work could be done for Rs 1800 crore and Rs 3600 crore was high.

“(Shiv Sena supremo) Balasaheb Thackeray, Pramod Mahajan (BJP leader) and everyone told me that if it was the lowest bid as per rules, then why I was opposing it? I told them that this can be done for half the price. As I did not sign, the tender got rejected,” he added.

The minister said Dhirubhai was disappointed and asked how he planned to build the road. “It is not the government’s work,” he said quoting the late business tycoon.

“I told him if I was unable to construct the road, I would shave off my moustache and also asked him jokingly what he would do if I was able to build the road,” said Gadkari.

The minister said he then formed the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). “In two years, the road was completed for Rs 1,600 crore,” he said.

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