PANJIM: The Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu said that he is looking into the possibility of setting up of an export processing zone in Goa so that more jobs can be created.
In an exclusive interview with the Herald, Suresh Prabhu said, “I had an excellent meeting with Chief Minister Parrikar and we discussed issues related to tourism, industrialisation, ports, impact of GST, pharmaceutical industry, exports, start-ups etc. “Goa has so much potential and it must create jobs for the youth by bringing in such industries which will not pollute this beautiful State.”
When asked how his ministry could help make Goa a start-up destination, Mr Prabhu said, “We are working on it and very soon we (Mr Parrikar and he) will have another meeting in Delhi regarding this. I am preparing a district-wise plan for all over India to understand which type of start-up can suit which district. Goa will be one of our priority State.”
Mr Prabhu when quizzed about which ministry was his favourite, he replied, “It is difficult to say when you have so many children, you cannot say that one particular child is my favourite one. All are equal. In fact each of the ministries has taught me a lot. Whether it was environment and forest ministry, water resources, chemical and fertiliser, power, or for that matter railways, I learnt a lot everywhere. This the first time I am in commerce and industries ministry and the most critical aspect of this ministry is to create jobs.”
When asked what was his major role as a minister for Commerce and Industries, Mr Prabhu said, “We must first remove all the hurdles for the entrepreneurs as they take market risk, they invest their own capital, and they invest on their ideas. We must ensure that their success should be our immediate priority and we must remove all the hurdles and bottlenecks which come on their way.”
He added that, “We want to promote exports from India in a big way and establish good logistics. For the first time the Prime Minister has added logistics to this ministry. We will work on logistics to ensure that there are less bottlenecks. We are also promoting small and medium enterprises for more job creation and produce value added products from agriculture sector. We want to create an eco-system which generates jobs.”
“When I was the Railways Minister, we got Rs 40,000 crore worth of investment/orders which in turn will create a huge supply chain and eco-system. By this we will get integrated to global supply chain. In the Commerce and Industries Ministry, I am also working on how to integrate India into global supply chain. I am deliberating on this with various experts in this field,” Mr Prabhu told Herald.
Mr Prabhu said he is trying to push the exports of agro-products from India. “It cannot be one-way traffic that countries can only export to India and we only import. When I met the Chinese minister, I explained to him that we have $56 billion dollars of trade deficit with China. We must devise a study on how to reduce it. For the first time they have agreed to find out and analyse sector wise where India has the possibility of exporting to China. We are also studying on how those products imported from China can be manufactured in India.”