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Speech of Mr. Sriram Subramanya, The Chairmanship of the Puducherry chapter of CII

Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr.Vaithilingam, Hon’ble Member of Parliament Mr.Ramadoss, Hon’ble Minister of Home & Industry, Mr.Valsaraj, Respected Members of Legislative Assembly Mr.Nazeem, Mr.Vishwamanthan, Mr.Lakshminarayanan, Mr.Anantharaman, CMD of Marg Ltd Mr.G.R.K.Reddy, my friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen,

I warmly welcome all of you to the Puducherry 2025 vision summit.

Puducherry means different things to different people. For some, it is a place to learn French, for others a spiritual place and for still others, it means ‘Let’s give time a break’!. By 2025 we want to transform Puducherry so that it means to all ‘a model state’ through inclusive, balanced, and sustainable development.

Recognising that growth requires a vision, we at CII along with Sriram Charitable Trust have undertaken to build a comprehensive vision for Puducherry called ‘Vision 2025’. We believe that Vision 2025 will play an inspirational role in facilitating Puducherry’s transformation.

This vision document is a culmination of over 6 months of continuous and collaborative effort.

Our Vision reflects the views and aspirations of the people of the Union Territory of Puducherry and is the result of broad-based consultations with all stakeholders across all the regions of the Union Territory - Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam.

The visioning exercise involved 60 face-to-face interviews and 14 focus group discussions. About 300 people from a cross-section of society - political leaders, government officials, sector leaders, farmers and students - who have an interest in developing Puducherry participated in the workshops. Overall, about 360 persons participated in the interactions.

While interacting with the Government & leaders from various political parties, I could see lot of positive energy as they shared their aspirations for Puducherry. One common thread across was that all of them were enthusiastic and optimistic to see Puducherry transform by leaps and bounds and thereby bringing development and pride to each and every Puducherrian. I believe this is the greatest strength we have.

Also, the political leaders are very capable of transforming this vision into reality. Our aim was to give a comprehensive framework to fulfill the people’s aspiration.

It is ultimately the Government which will play a lead role to deliver the Vision 2025 to the people.

In this summit, I would very much like to quote the famous verses from Thirukural.


Everyone should be granted:


Aspiration must always exceed present resources. In other words, the vision must be a big stretch, and it need not be obvious how it will be attained. Each one of us must contribute in the best way to make this transformation happen. We need a lot of courage, courage, passion, dedication and a service mindset to achieve this vision.

This has made us chose our vision theme as ACT which stands for:
  • Aspire
  • Contribute
  • Transform
The elements of this vision will set the context for the developmental agenda for Puducherry.

We are releasing the vision document today.

The document envisages developing Puducherry into a model state in terms of economy, infrastructure, education, tourism and healthcare with a theme of achieving balanced, inclusive and sustainable grown by 2025.

We have chosen seven focus area under this vision that include
  • Promoting tourism
  • Promoting high-end services and high-end manufacturing
  • Sustaining agriculture, fisheries and rural development
  • Building high-quality infrastructure
  • Making available clean energy, environment and health for all
  • Making Puducherry a global destination for higher education, learning and research
  • Ensuring responsive governance and administration
The following are some major initiatives recommended in the report, based on the themes identified.

Tourism
  • Attract high-value tourists and increase tourist spend & duration of their stay
  • Provide theme based tourist packages like spiritual tourism, wellness tourism, eco-tourism and heritage tourism
Manufacturing & Services
  • Puducherry to have a e-governance based single-window system
  • Puducherry to formulate a new industrial policy based on the changed industrial scenario
  • Puducherry to be made into a knowledge services hub and a centre for non-polluting economic activity eg IT, ITES, BPO, biotechnology, nanotechnology etc.
Agriculture & Rural Development
  • Puducherry should emerge as a centre for innovative, collective, high value agriculture through activities like precision farming and system of rice intensification, developing alternate revenue sources like animal husbandry and farm tourism, thereby sustaining its area under cultivation while substantially increasing the value of the agricultural produce.
  • Fishing should be supported by fish-processing centres and parks, life skills and skill building fisher-folk.
Infrastructure
  • Government has been urged to come out with a master plan and a regional development plan
  • Develop infrastructure projects through Public Private Partnerships
  • Puducherry should be well connected by air, rail, road, and sea, ensuring ease of access.
  • Puducherrians should have excellent, 'socially responsible' urban infrastructure ensuring a good environment to live and work.
  • Making available affordable housing for the poor.
Environment, Energy & Health
  • Universal, affordable, preventive healthcare and health insurance for all citizens
  • Adequate, affordable and clean electricity through proper planning and innovative solutions.
  • To explore joint ownership and/or development of power projects in other states, long term import of power through appropriate purchase contracts in a manner that also aids the building up of a clean environment at Puducherry.
  • To focus on clean environment in and around Puducherry, which would involve management of water sources, sewage, industrial effluent treatment, solid waste management, and controlling atmospheric pollution using modern technology and regulation.
Education
  • We need to rapidly progress from current 81 percent literacy level towards 100 percent literacy.
  • Puducherry to be a global destination for quality higher education.
Governance & Administration
  • e-Governance to be fully implemented
  • To be a role model for responsive, transparent governance which is people centric and technology enabled
  • To work towards improved business climate, and better service delivery for its citizens, emerging as a preferred destination for entrepreneurs.
  • Formulate a Policy for Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
To further the vision as stated above, we will be closely working with the Government to facilitate implementation over the next 16 years. We are also launching www.puducherryvision2025.com, a dedicated website for interactions and further updates.

As a small state, we are uniquely positioned to realize our vision at a much quicker pace. Ultimately, my desire is that we should see Puducherry as a model state not only for other states in India, but even for other countries.

I am confident that we will achieve our vision with the contribution and support of all stakeholders.

I thank the core committee members consisting of key CII office bearers, eminent academics, bureaucrats and civil society organisations who guided the vision gathering and provided feedback at critical intervals.

I thank all the sponsors for their contribution.

I thank all speakers who have accepted our invitation to share their thoughts and ideas in this forum

I thank ICRA Management Consulting Services Limited (IMaCS) who facilitated the vision gathering and in developing this document.

In closing, I would like to reiterate our vision statement:

"By 2025, Puducherry will be an international destination for higher education, learning, and research; a best-in-class wellness, spiritual, and eco-tourism destination; a hub for high-end services and industries enabled by high-quality infrastructure, connectivity, and responsive governance; duly preserving its environment and heritage, and thereby emerging as a model, value-based society".





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