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Sikkim Has Risen Beyond Tourism, Organic Products Making Mark Globally: Sitharaman
Sikkim | March 2023

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday was addressing a programme organised by NABARD and the banks in the state at the Chintan Bhawan

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said Sikkim has risen beyond tourism, and stepped into the world of enterprise development with some of its organic products making their mark in the global market.

Addressing a programme organised by NABARD and the banks in the state at the Chintan Bhawan here, she lauded the sustainable growth in various sectors of Sikkim's economy, stating that it remained understated despite the efficacy. "The ready-for-market products with high standards displayed at the stalls in MG Marg reflect the grit and resilience of the local producers of the state," Sitharaman said. She said institutions like NABARD are agents of change and doing exceptional work in taking the government schemes to far-flung areas of Sikkim, including the cluster of villages at the Sikkim-Nepal border.

"For NABARD to come this far and understand the communities of such places and help them in setting up enterprises speaks about how every institution under the Government of India, guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been realising the 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' policy in the country," she said. She also spoke about the impressive women's participation in the state's economy, stating that the Centre will provide professional help to Self Help Groups (SHGs) to market their goods.

Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang said that despite the economic structure of Sikkim being significantly different from other states, it has made efforts to accelerate growth in order to improve the living conditions of its people. During the day, Sitharaman virtually inaugurated a 3.5-km passenger ropeway from Dhapper to Bhaleydhunga in South Sikkim. It will provide connectivity to the renowned Bhaleydhunga cliff, which could be accessed earlier through a six-hour-long trek.

She also laid the foundation stone for the Mini Secretariat and Niyukti Bhawan at Lumsey. To reduce traffic congestion in Gangtok and accommodate several offices under one roof, the state government decided to construct the mini-secretariat and Nyiyukti Bhawan at a cost of Rs 295 crore. Later, Sitharaman left for North Sikkim where she will spend the next two days, attending various programmes in the picturesque town of Lachen.