Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public distribution and Textiles, Government of India, Piyush Goyal, chaired a review meeting with Government Officials here at the Conference hall of Tashiling Secretariat in Gangtok on Friday.
Minister, Piyush Goyal was warmly received by Chief Secretary Government of Sikkim, Vijay Bhushan Pathak and DC Gangtok, Tushar Nikhare.
Piyush Goyal started his tour today with an interactive meeting with the HoDs and Officers from various line departments on issues such as implementation of programmes and policies of Central Ministries such as Progress of PM Gatishakti, National Oil Palm Mission, Expenditure of MoCI, CAFPD and Textiles under GBD. The programme also included review of Rubber plantation and production for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, and mechanisms for Organic State such as Testing Facility, Blockchain and Exporting facility.
The Minister who is on a three day tour from February 17, 2023 to February 19, 2023 will be meeting Governement Officials and stakeholders related to Commerce and Industries.
During the review meeting with Government Officials at the Conference hall of Tashiling Secretariat, Power Point presentation were delivered by the respective HoDs of different departments to explain and discuss about different programmes implemented in the State.
Secretary, Commerce and Industries gave a brief presentation of activities and objectives of Gatishakti in the State. Key issues discussed were about logistical bottlenecks in railway development, extension and operation of Pakyong Airport and creation of alternate highways from Melli to Singtam under Roads and Bridges Department.
NHIDCL representative spoke about achievements and work undertaken by NHIDCL under the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies Department, gave a brief about National Food Security Act 2013, statistics about Fair Price Shops, number of godowns under Godowns and Storage Scheme,and Consumer Protection Cell.
It is to be noted that the Hon’ble Minister took note of the request for early release of Central Assistance Allocation as apprised to him by the Secretary.
Secretary Education Department spoke about the establishment of Khangchendzonga State University in the state, major achievements under Samagra Shiksha such as self defense for girls, menstrual health and hygiene programme and installation of smart classes. Key issues discussed were vocational education and skill development education to students, evaluation of PM POSHAN Abhiyaan and district wise admission rate.
Principal Secretary, Rural Development Department gave a brief assessment of six major central schemes in the State implemented by RDD which are MNREGA, PMGSY, Sikkim Rural Livelihood Mission (SLRM), Jal Jeewan Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA).
Secretary Power Department, gave a brief outline about two centrally sponsored schemes implemented in Sikkim which are, Comprehensive Scheme for Strenghthening of Transmission Distribution System in Sikkim and Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS).
Secretary Tourism Department, Prakash Chettri, apprised the Minister about creation of Eco friendly tourist centre in Thangu near Chopta valley, construction of four statues dedicated to patron saints of Sikkim at Yuksom in West Sikkim, Tourist infrastructure for Kailash Manosarvar Yatra at 18th mile, remodelling of Burtuk helipad in Gangtok district, support facility for passenger ropeway at Upper Dhapper Yangang in South Sikkim, Passenger and ropeway from Pelling to Sangacholing in West Sikkim.
Secretary Forest apprised the Minister about steps taken by the State to sensitize public about environmental issues. He also mentioned about specific days solely dedicated to Environment conservation, which are being observed throughout the state.
Minister Piyush Goyal took note of the assessment report and grievances given by HoDs of the line departments. He requested the officials to strive towards providing 100% effort to overturn the existing p $1 million revenue of organic produce in the State to $1 billion in the near future. He said that Sikkim has potential to become a sustainable State and an Organic State. He apprised that such achivements will give more value and leverage to boost tourism in the State. He stressed on local youth to work on design and packaging facility as well.
Further, he said that large cardamom, spices, homestay and organic farming should be focused which will help the youth to become self-employed.
The Minister also suggested for organic,sustainable and clean renewable energy. He suggested lab for organic testing in the State- farm to lab – traceability check.He also insisted to use existing infrastructure for upscaling economic activities.
The programme had the presence of Minister for Energy & Power and Labour, GoS, M.N. Sherpa, Area MLA Upper Burtuk, D.R. Thapa, Area MLA Maneybong Dentam, N.K. Subba, Chief Secretary, GoS, Vijay Bhushan Pathak IAS, HoDs of line departments, representatives from NHIDCL, regional heads of Bank and concerned Government Officials.