De-Lurking on the Net

January 10, 2016

India needs Jobs (wealth) creation pro-active Initiatives

Just like, for many countries, India could focus on the two areas which create more jobs (including in outsourcing) besides producing revenue. These are tourism and agriculture. India is opening on-arrival visa regime for up to 150 countries soon. Before, it is done any tourism focussed initiative will help it big way to ramp up the revenues. But as before any new initiatives are considered, the funding for them should be arranged. For this, the special bonds in respective industry could be issued which may become redeemable after 10 years.

India has made beginning in both these areas but the inputs needed to make them contribute manifold are missing. Within tourism, the areas to focus should be medical tourism and adventure sports.

  1. Medical tourism

The new medical facilities can be opened by private public partnership (PPP). The govt. can provide the buildings(smart small clinics or mini specialist-hospitals) and equipments and give this facility on license or lease to doctors associations. They can run it on the same lines as private facilities such as Apollo, Fortis etc. The hotels or other residential areas in the vicinity can be developed by builders as patients will require areas to stay while convalescing. Such a facility provides the employment or training opportunity for both experienced (to run) and young doctors (trainee) besides bringing valuable foreign exchange and foreign tourists.

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Medical tourism is gathering momentum, one can see the growing revenue from this area for last 10 years but India is no4 after Mexico, Thailand, CostaRica. There is an outstanding opportunity to cut across the world in this area as most of Africa lacks the expertise or facilities. In America, Europe, the treatments as being so expensive, it gives opportunities to seek an outsourcing treatment contracts with the hospitals or govts or health insurance companies (such as BUPA, NHS etc) abroad. In fact, it will also benefit to improve the healthcare to Indian general public as well as there will be less pressure on the big public hospitals from those who can afford expensive treatments in India itself. India has 0.7 doctor to 1000 people in comparison to west where the best countries have 3 to 4 doctors per 1000 people. One of the lacunas could be perhaps not producing enough young doctors though India produces 3 times as many as USA.  First of all an assessment will be needed to figure out how many engg or medical employment positions are getting created annually in India. Not finding a job after a degree,  not only adds frustration to the students and families but also to the banks who may be adding these costs to Non-performing Assets(NPAs). There are roughly about 370 medical colleges, 49,840 MBBS seats and  charging Rs 50 lakh capitation each per annum in comparison to engineers ( 3,345 colleges, 15 lakhs students). Perhaps, lots of engg colleges should be converted into medical colleges and others closed down or students taught a particular craft to develop small scale or cottage industries – may be entrepreneurship too. The industry should be consulted for their annual requirements as education policy needs to be built to serve the industry. So, for formulating the education policy, education ministry should consult labour ministry, industrial ministry or directly survey industry’s needs and take inputs from planning commission plans in formulating type of colleges required in future and how many should be kept open or running. As clearly can be seen here India ranks in low income countries’ category when it comes to talk about healthcare infrastructure.

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  1. For adventure sports,

There can be any number of countries to emulate from. Most of them do not just engage in one sport but many acquire over the years a must status to visit for these types of tourists. Among these are New Zealand (Bungee Jumping etc), Switzerland(which has many trains going up the slopes or tunnels or has excellent piste infrastructure so it is good for many snow bound sports),  Australia (water sports- scuba diving, snorkeling), US(theme parks) etc.  The inputs such as setting up infrastructure – roads to such sites, the metal structures (Ropeways, support etc), concrete or building structure such as lifts taking to the mountains viewing areas, slopes etc can be built by issuing yet another tourism bonds.

New infrastructure can have ticket for entries to generate revenue and any hotels developed in that area can also have special tourism taxes to recover the infra building costs fast. So if the govt creates infrastructure as a priority, it will not take long to pay off the bonds. This initiative  will bring not only tourists(foreign and desis) to those areas but generate employment too. Infrastructure building will also help steel industry, as well as stop rich Indian people from flying abroad to spend foreign currency on these activities. The employment in areas where  very few other employment opportunities exist is particularly appealing.

Agriculture:

As India’s population will peak, its demand will go up in many of these areas. The areas for growth are olive production (Spain, Italy, Greece are leading countries but Israel could be tapped for exceptional high quality olive oil production who in spite of growing it in arid areas, using drip irrigation as well using salty (brackish) and purified wastewater which helps it to add natural fertilizers to the soil produces superior quality olives), mushroom production (China, Italy are leading and in USA, Pennsylvania, California are the leading ones), other edible oil production facilities particularly coconut oil where India is no 3 and Philippines is no1 with almost close to 4 times that of India’s production level, Orchards developments like in California to grow Almonds(which requires more water than how much olives need), Pistachio(good for arid areas – Iran is no 1 producer in it), Walnuts(US produces 9 times, China 8 times, Iran 5 times of India’s production level), apples, orange (citrus), plums(prunes). It will be particularly good in the  area of India’s Northeast where on the line of California orchards could be developed. As the North-East offers enough water resources (required for almonds etc) and the temp may be just right too but for production of pistachio(arid areas should be OK) and for Olive production could go to Rajasthan  bordering Punjab (as Olives need water too) or in dry areas of UP, AP, Maharastra etc for Pistachios. Orchards will largely depend on developing bee keeping industry too for pollination of fruits.

 

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