Bamboo industry to play crucial role in post-COVID economy: Jitendra Singh

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is planning to promote domestic bamboo industry which is going to play a critical role in shaping the post-COVID economy of India, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday.

Addressing two separate webinars on ‘World Bamboo Day‘, Singh said the Northeastern region will be one of the favourite business destinations of India post-COVID-19 and bamboo is going to be the key pillar of economic activities.

He said many business houses are looking at the Northeastern region to exploit its vast agro-farming resources and people should not miss this opportunity.

“Modi government is planning to promote domestic bamboo industry, which is going to play a critical role in shaping the post-COVID economy of India,” the Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) said.

Describing bamboo as a silver lining in the dark clouds of the pandemic, Singh said it will help in shaping the economy of the Northeast and the entire country in post-COVID era.

He said it will also herald a new momentum for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of ‘Aatma-nirbhar Bharat’ by focussing on Vocal for Local

The minister said the sensitivity with which the Modi government views the importance of bamboo is evident from the fact that it has amended the century-old Indian Forest Act by taking home grown bamboo out of the purview of the Act, in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through bamboo.

He also welcomed the decision of the central government to raise the import duty by 25 per cent on raw bamboo items.

Singh said this will help the domestic bamboo industries like furniture, handicrafts and ‘agarbatti’ (incense sticks) making in a big way and promote use of bamboo as building material.

He said time has come for National Bamboo Mission to take a big lead to make bamboo a common man’s utility item and unlock the huge potential in this sector in the Northeastern region. He said the region could become the ‘New Engine of New India’ with bamboo as a useful fuel.

The minister also stated that viability funding from the Ministry of DoNER for start-ups have caught the imagination of youths in the Northeastern region and it is fast becoming an attractive option for the youngsters.