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Tourism must be the biggest creator of jobs in India

Amitabh Kant Amitabh Kant

Travel & Tourism and the hospitality segment today contribute close to 9.8 per cent of the employment. This is one sector which can be the solution to one of India’s major challenges of job creation.

Speaking in a session about ‘Transforming India’, at the HICSA 2019, Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog said, “It is not possible for India to grow without jobs. To achieve high growth for jobs, the answer lies in the travel and hospitality segment. The travel and tourism sector is one of the major creators of jobs in India it accounts for close to 40 million jobs. It accounts for 9.8 per cent of jobs in India direct and indirect. Therefore, travel and tourism is what the politician of India needs to create jobs. We are amidst an election where everybody wants jobs. The travel and tourism industry does everything, but talks about creation of jobs. The focus of this industry must be that it is the biggest creator of jobs in India.”

Further speaking about how India is changing when it comes to development of tourism related policies and infrastructure, he added, “We have opened up the e-Visa regime, with over 150 countries. We have opened up the islands for tourism. We are creating the biggest convention centre to open up the MICE market. We are redoing the entire Pragati maidan (the convention centre in New Delhi). Post election, we will push for opening more than 100 tourism trains. This sector provides the answer to the biggest challenges, challenge to grow with equity, jobs.”

The Government has taken a slew of steps to strengthen the infrastructure in the country. “India is creating world class infrastructure. The only country who is doing 100 smart cities, 50 metros, high speed trains. We are doing 36 km of urban roads, 170 kms of rural roads per day. We are pushing the limits,” he said.

Over the last five years, India has undergone major reforms and changes which have made the country much easier for doing business. “Today, India is growing at about 7.5 per cent per annum. The challenge for India is to grow at much higher rate, which is necessary. 72 per cent of India’s population is below the age of 32, the average age of India is 29. It is the youngest country in the world, and the population will get younger and younger till 2042,” he added.

He suggested that India needs to follow certain steps to grow from 7.5 per cent to around 10 per cent. “Firstly, India was a very complex, complicated and difficult place to do business. But in the last 5 years, doing business in India has been made easy and simple. The government scrapped a set of rules and regulations, procedures, 1300 laws have been removed. We have digitised every single department of the Government. India has now jumped 65 positions in the world rank in ‘Ease of doing Business’. We are confident that next year we will jump more positions and our target is to reach the top 25 in the next two years. We made the states to come up with ease of doing business and we started naming and shaming the states. The first year Gujarat came number 1, next year Andhra Pradesh beat Gujarat, and next Telengana came first. This competition has helped us develop these states. The good thing is Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh which are mineral rich states in India had radical reforms and came fourth and fifth. Business in India needs to be easy and simple so that we can give freedom to the investors and India can only grow when private sector will truly flourish.”

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