Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu chaired a meeting in Delhi to review the development of Konkan region. The meeting focussed on the development of agriculture, services, and manufacturing sector in the region.
Reviewing the agriculture sector in Konkan region, the Minister directed officials to run campaigns on Geographical Indicators (GIs) so as to increase awareness about the benefits of GI tag for the produce of the region. He directed officials to prepare a policy for establishing GI stalls at all airports of India. Moreover, he also suggested displaying GI products from all over India at all international airports of the country. Plans to develop GI Tourism Circuits including the circuit covering Mahabaleshwar-Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Nasik were also discussed. To boost tourism, the Minister directed Airports Authority of India (AAI) to operationalize Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri Airport on a priority basis.
In order to boost agricultural activity in the region, prospective role and contribution of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Spice Board and Rubber Board was discussed. The Minister said that representatives from Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Farmers’ Groups will also be consulted for this plan.
In the manufacturing sector, discussions focused on leather, gem & jewelry and packaging sectors. To boost packaging sector in the Konkan region, Suresh Prabhu directed officially to do a feasibility study for establishing a campus for Indian Institute for Packaging (IIP) in Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri district. In the service sector, steps will be taken to give a boost to the IT and ITES industry. It was decided to actively involve NABARD in the process. The Minister stressed that the Commerce Ministry will coordinate with other Union Ministries and State Governments in order to smoothen the development of the Konkan region.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Department of Commerce, Civil Aviation, APEDA, MPEDA, Spice and Rubber boards and officers from the Konkan region.