This is a budget which has laid down the foundation for our nation to become a 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2025. This budget seeks to integrate economic growth with rural development.
Darjeeling is home to some of the best Mandarin oranges in the world – yet today the orange growers are suffering due to diseases and pest problem.
Kalimpong is a hub of floriculture and other cash crops like cardamom and ginger – yet nothing much has been done to provide marketing avenues for the promotion of floriculture here. Pineapples from the Phansidewa and vegetables from Naxalbari and Chopra have the potential to cater to an international market – yet the West Bengal government has not taken a single step to promote international marketing of these products. Darjeeling used to be a hub of milk production – Himul formed along the lines of Amul in Darjeeling reason was one of the earliest Milk Cooperatives in India.
Yet, due to utter neglect and apathy from the succeeding West Bengal governments, HIMUL shut down in 2014.
Darjeeling constituency shares border with four different countries. Funds provided under BADP are not adequate to cater to the infrastructural needs of the villages that are on the border. I, therefore, request that BADP and Rural Development projects be integrated, so that more funds can be allocated to meet the special development needs of the people living in areas near the international borders to develop essential infrastructure here.
The allocation for rural roads development under the PMGSY in our region should be increased so that by the year 2024 there won’t be a single village in our region that does not have road connection.