Entrepreneurs Vital for Economic Growth – Minister Prabhu

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Entrepreneurs Vital for Economic Growth of the Country- Prabhu during KCCI Platinum Jubilee Celebration

Mangaluru: The Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held at the TMA Pai Hall here, on May 16. Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu, district minister in-charge Ramanath Rai, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLA J R Lobo and the members of KCCI were present on this occasion.

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Speaking on the occasion, J R Lobo lauded the efforts of the KCCI in playing a major role in Mangalore’s development, including their role in getting the airport at Mangalore, improving railway connectivity, and making the port more accessible. “The KCCI has industrious and development-minded people. This city has great potential – it has connections by air, land and sea. The city had a lot going on decades back and had a great momentum, but over time, it has been neglected by both the state and union governments.

Appreciating the initiative of a better railway connection between Mangalore and Bangalore, Lobo thanked the Railway minister while also appealing to him to continue the development of railways in Mangalore and set up a divisional office in Mangalore itself. “The Konkan Railway has become saturated today; we need to double the tracks. When Sadananda Gowda was the union railway minister, he had made plans to make an international class railway station in Mangalore. But once he left office, the plans were abandoned. We need to make decisions that are system oriented and unaffected by the change in the political landscape.” He thanked KCCI and asked the members of the organisation to continue their efforts. “More than the government, it is the people who are responsible for the growth of the city,” he added.

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Delivering his valedictory address, union railway minister Suresh Prabhu described his connection with Mangalore, and said, “For me, Mangalore is like my home. It is an inviting and tempting place. I used to come here often before becoming a minister, but now I rarely get a chance. Hence, I am happy to have received the opportunity to be a part of this programme.”

Congratulating KCCI on the occasion, Prabhu said that once you are 75, you become eternal. The KCCI has had a long and interesting journey. In many ways, it reflects the journey of the modern Indian economy. “Any businessman will tell you that making the first million is the most difficult. After that things keep becoming easier and easier. India took many years to achieve a GDP of a trillion, but only 7 years to get to the next trillion. This great growth has been made possible by entrepreneurs and the people. India’s growth is not just due to the government’s efforts but largely due to that of its people. Without entrepreneurship, the growth in Indian economy would not have been possible. There can be no trade without industry and neither can we have industries without trade; trade and industry go hand-in-hand. And to bring all the various aspects together and find ways to increase growth, we need associations like the KCCI.”

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Prabhu further spoke about starting joint ventures with the private sector and between the union and state governments to boost growth. “India has become the top destination for FDI. We have to grow at a much faster pace and catch up to China. The role of the government in all this is to provide the necessary infrastructure. Co-operation between the union and state governments will be important and the key to boosting growth and enabling the industry. We have recently passed a bankruptcy law, and also made taxes easier for small scale industries. We need to bring more and more bills to ensure a flourishing environment for those who want to do business,” he added.

Talking about the importance of coastal regions, he said that the coasts play an important role in trade for a country. The Western Coast of India especially has a lot of potentials, and this potential needs to be realised. In reply to MLA Lobo’s earlier suggestion for doubling the Konkan railways, he said that the Government of India is currently working on it, and in addition has also opened institutes like the George Fernandes Centre for Tunnel Technology in Goa, Ramakrishna Hegde Institute of Skill Development in Udupi, etc. in honour of those who worked hard to bring railway connectivity to the Western Coast. Prabhu suggested the KCCI to partner up with the Konkan Railway to boost trade along the coast. He also asked the gathering to inform the railway authorities if they find any wrongdoing in the railways.

A book detailing the journey of the KCCI from its inception to the present and paintings made by local artists on local interests were released on the occasion. District Minister In-charge Ramanath Rai and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel also spoke on the occasion. KCCI President Rammohan Pai welcomed the gathering, VP Jeevan Saldhana introduced the guests, Srinivas Kamath gave a brief history of the KCCI and Treasurer Vatika Pai delivered the vote of thanks.

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