New Delhi: Promotion of rural tourism, wasteland cultivation and enhancing grain productivity can create upto 40 million new jobs and Rs85,000 crore additional income in the countryside by 2012, a report by CII-McKinsey said on 1 June 2007.
According to the report presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by a CII-McKinsey joint delegation, the per capita rural income can be jacked up by 25-30% if the report’s recommendations are implemented.
“Wasteland cultivation is the second largest job generator after tourism and we have requested the government to make policies for easier release of this land for cultivation of crops like jatropha,” McKinsey & Co managing director Adil Zainulbhai said at a press conference here.
The report said government and community-owned wasteland could be released for cultivation through tri-patriate agreements that will benefit the government, private players and rural communities.
However, the success would depend on providing tax holidays for private sector industry involved in developing wasteland. It also recommended setting up a National Wasteland Development Board.
The UPA government has started implementation of its flagship ‘Bharat Nirman’ programme, under which Rs1,74,000 crore would be spent on building rural infrastructure like roads, telecom, electricity, housing, irrigation and drinking water.
The CII has set up a ‘Bharat Nirman’ Council headed by ITC chairman Yogesh Deveshwar.
Four activities — cultivation of jatropha and pulpwood on the wasteland, improvement in the production of grains, wine and poultry and tourism development — are capable of generating Rs40,000 crore, Rs20,000 crore, Rs5,000 crore and Rs20,000 crore respectively by 2012, the report said.
These sectors would create three-four crore jobs primarily in areas like tourism and wasteland cultivation.
The report outlined the concerted actions needed by the Central and state governments like setting aside Rs 2,25,000 crore for Decentralised Distribution Generation (DDG) of power.
It has also suggested setting up a Rural Water Authority and gearing up rain water harvesting projects.
With an aim to catalyse service network extension, the report seeks creation of National Grain Mission and a National Grain Market, Deveshwar said.
The report has also asked for setting up of Special Tourism Zones Authority to create special tourism zones and two-three world class tourism destinations in each state.
It has sought creation of policies by the Centre and the states to prepare master plan to utilise such lands. At the local level, Panchayats and community organisations should actively participate in the programmes of the government, the report said.
It also emphasised the private sector to work as a supplier in infrastructure building under Bharat Nirman and capture the large rural market opportunity, estimated to be around Rs25,00,000 crore by 2020.