Port Blair, March 25: The Member of Parliament, Shri. Kuldeep Rai Sharma on Wednesday (23-03-2022) during the budget session of Parliament raised demands concerning Andaman and Nicobar Islands Parliamentary constituency, during the discussion on Demand for Grants concerning the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. 

The Member of Parliament has put forth some demands concerning Andaman & Nicobar Islands before the Ministry in the Parliament:

1) Information Technology (IT) and IT Enabled Services (ITeS): Kuldeep Rai Sharma demanded that in order to address the widespread unemployment in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, there is a need to create IT Enabled Services (ITeS). In order to promote service sector export, the government should establish a BPO and IT industry in my constituency, which has an advantage due to its strategic location and proximity to Southeast Asian countries.

In FY2022, the top three Indian IT companies, TCS, Wipro and Infosys, are expected to offer 1.05 lakh job opportunities, due to the increasing demand for talent and skill. India’s IT and business services market is projected to reach USD 19.93 billion by 2025. IT spending in India is estimated to reach USD 98.5 billion in 2022. Keeping these upcoming opportunities in mind, the setting up of the IT industry in the Islands will lead to job opportunities for the youths of the Islands and will also lead to the economic development of my Parliamentary constituency.

2) Shipping: The Member of Parliament pointed out that the Andaman & Nicobar Islands have a unique topography and living system which cannot be seen anywhere else in the country in such dimensions. Shipping is the lifeline of the Islands and Shipping based industries can flourish in the state. The domain knowledge available in the shipping and port management sectors can be successfully exploited. He requested the Minister to promote investment in the shipping sector in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Sharma also demanded for Ship Building and Ship-Repairing dry dock at Shore Point and Campbell Bay for bigger vessels. These two major dry docks should be developed as in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok models. Major dry docks will enable better business and employment opportunities for the Islanders. This will also benefit the Indian Navy as they have a big fleet of ships.  Sharma also demanded a boat-building yard at Long Island.

3) Fisheries, high-value fishes and value-added fish products:  He mentioned that there is vast potential in the Andaman Sea in the fisheries sector with an estimated potential of 1.48 lakh MT of fish which is 3.8 percent of the country’s total fish potential. Sharma demanded that the Government of India and Department of Fisheries should chalk out a comprehensive policy that focuses on promoting investment in this sector through policy incentives and promoting exports. The development of fisheries in Andaman & Nicobar Islands will generate large-scale employment both direct and indirect along with contributing to the Island’s economy. The islands have one-third of the coastal area of the country. The Government should promote deep-sea fishing, should install fish processing units, cold storage, and ice plants. Also, provide Air transportation for export of the fishes to Southeast Asian countries.

4) Rural industries based on handicrafts, coir processing, wooden, bamboo, cane and fish pickles: The Member of Parliament pointed out that unemployment is one of the major factors in the social structure of A & N Islands. Hence to improve the scenario, the Handicraft Industry can play a major role in the eradication of unemployment.  It has been estimated that around 500 artisans are involved in handicraft-oriented work in the A & N Islands, but they face major difficulties in Marketing their products & Transportation problems. Sharma requested the Government to frame a policy for upliftment of the handicraft industry and also provide a market for it.

5) Tourism:  The tourism sector has been recognized by the A&N Administration as the 'Sun Rise' sector with tremendous opportunities for the private sector to come in. Kuldeep Rai Sharma requested the government to promote Sustainable and Eco-Friendly projects in the Tourism sector that can be the keystone for the development of the islands as it has almost limitless potential.

Promoting tourism by connecting the Islands with South Asian countries will solve the unemployment issue and the economy of the Islands can also be increased manifold.