Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said the infrastructure sector has huge job potential, and bamboo plantation along highways in the northeastern states can create two lakh jobs. He said sticks of incense, made from a variety of bamboo, worth Rs 4,000 crore are being imported from China whereas these varieties are available in northeastern states.
"The basic mission of the government is how to create more job potential...There is huge employment potential in infrastructure including highways," said Road Transport, Highways and MSME Minister Gadkari while speaking at an event to unveil a report 'Infrastructure Priorities for Job Creation in India' by IDFC institute here.
The minister said that apart from road construction, which has now reached a pace of building 29 km a day, there is a huge job potential in highway projects.
He said India is importing Rs 4,000-crore incense sticks from China and currently, the government has increased import duty on this to 30 per cent.
"Such variety of bamboo is available in Arunachal Pradesh and other areas and I have urged the importers to cultivate the same also along national highways... At least two lakh jobs can be created from bamboo only," he said.
Besides, he said the government is building 22 new green expressways, including the Delhi-Mumbai expressway, on a new alignment which will be a growth engine for backward areas.
He said logistics parks are proposed at 280 places and there is a plan for offering land to petroleum companies along the highways.
In five years, about Rs 1,400 crore can come to the kitty of the National Highways Authority of India from this, he said and added that there are also plans for bus ports at 850 places.
Also, he said that of the 480 highway projects examined, 280 offer good internal rates of return and banks are ready to offer funds to these.