Mumbai, August 27: Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday that he has written to all the States to make kulhads (earthen pots) mandatory in the eateries at bus stops and railway stations so as to help create jobs for the potter community.
In the past, other Union Ministers, including Lalu Prasad Yadav, had also attempted similar moves with varying levels of success.
“I have personally written to the Railway Minister and also to all the State Transport Ministers to make earthen pots mandatory, rather than paper cups which are used now,” Mr. Gadkari told a seminar organised by the industry lobby CII.
Gadkari said the earthen pots should be made mandatory at all the State transport bus stops and railway stations, so as to increase the demand for them.
The Minister said he drinks water from such pots every morning as it is a “natural” way of preserving water apart from better taste. He added that people are already enjoying the kulhads at two railway stations.
The Minister said the aim of the Ministry is to create five crore jobs during the remaining term of the government in addition to the present 11 crore jobs; to increase the contribution of small businesses to overall exports from 40% to 50%; and to increase their share in GDP to 50% from 29%.
It is working on a dedicate portal to sell the wares of such enterprises, which will be fashioned on the lines of Alibaba and Amazon, he said.
Gadkari reiterated his opposition to driverless cars, pointing out that as many as 50 lakh people are employed as drivers.
To reduce logistics costs, Mr. Gadkari said the Shipping Ministry, which he presided over in the first term, has submitted a detailed project report to use the Yamuna as an inland waterway.
He said the ?12,000-crore project can help transport cars manufactured at Maruti’s plant in the NCR region to Bangladesh and even to Guwahati through inland waterways.
The Yamuna waterway will connect Delhi with Varanasi through Agra and Etawah, he said.
Just like trams, the Ministry is also planning to have a dedicated lane for trucks which will move on electricity on under-construction Mumbai-Delhi Expressway, he said, claiming that cost of this movement is a fifth of diesel. (PTI)