Sh Hardeep S Puri, Minister of state (I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs while addressing the “Traders National conclave” organized by the Confederation of All India Traders here today, said that trade forms the backbone of any economy, and is particularly important for a developing country like India. “India today is a USD 2.6 trillion economy with 50% in the external sector. Interstate trade is equally vital to ensure robust growth of India’s GDP. In the past quarter, India grew at 7.7%, and it is projected that by 2025, India’s economy will breach the USD 5 trillion mark. And by the time we complete the post-2030 development agenda, India will rank as the third largest economy, with a GDP of over USD 10 trillion”, he added.
Addressing a large no of traders who were present on the occasion, Sh Puri observed that as India’s economy grows, its per capita income will grow too. Put another way, economic growth will increase the disposable income of Indian citizens, giving a massive fillip to the trading community. Over the past few months, the government and the trading community have held intense deliberations on finding solutions to the sealing mandated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The amendment to the national capital’s master plan and the subsequent implementation will require follow-up work. It is the government, which is responsible to formulate policies.
On Urbanisation, the Minister observed that the pace at which India is urbanizing, and the demographic shifts taking place in the country, could not be predicted by even the most visionary planner. In 1951, the first census of India highlighted that 17% of India’s population lived in urban areas. The population base at the time was just over 360 million. The latest census of 2011 states 30% of India lives in urban spaces – this on a population base of 1.25 billion. Estimates suggest, come 2030, 40% of India’s population, or 600 million Indian citizens will reside in cities.
Dwelling on the stand of the trading community, the Minister said that the trading community has reassured policy makers that they are against encroachment of public land, and are willing to cooperate with the government in cracking down on all illegal activities. The concerned agencies, namely the office of the Lieutenant Governor, L&DO, and the DDA, stand ready to provide any clarifications needed to the recent master plan amendments.
On sealing drive undertaken in the city by civic authorities, he informed that even as the government has amended the master plan to respond to the growing demand for urbanization, activities, which go against the rule of law, are being struck down. So far, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation have sealed 2,655, 1,995, and 1,043 properties respectively, found to be in violation of the law. The Special Task Force, under the chairmanship of Vice Chairman, DDA, has cleared encroachments of over 1,200 kms of roads, and over 1,99,382 square meters of permanent structures.
It is the commitment of this government to make the national capital a model city, where the traders, residents, children, divyang, and the elderly, can lead a life of ease. The work being undertaken in the national capital – from connectivity to housing; from green spaces to decongestion – will provide a template to the rest of the country, Shri Puri further said.
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