New Delhi (Sputnik) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again proved his strategic acumen by securing a domestic gain for his party while fulfilling an international agenda for his government.
During the recently concluded India-Japan summit in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA) agreed to provide a $76 million loan to India for upgrading the Alang-Sosiya ship recycling yard located in the western coast of Gujarat. The project is expected to create millions of jobs for local youth.
“The project is expected to result in an increase in direct employment from 50,000 to 92,000 people and indirect employment from 1.5 lakh to 3 lakh people,” India’s Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.
The total cost for upgradation of Alang-Sosiya ship recycling yard is estimated at $ 111 million, out of which $76 million will be provided as a soft loan from JICA. The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and is likely to be completed by 2022.
“This project will help the Alang-Sosia ship-recycling yards to comply with international safety & environmental regulations. This will attract more business to the recycling facilities at Alang, thereby, further consolidating India’s share in the global ship-recycling industry,” according to a statement by the Ministry of Shipping.
All this comes at the backdrop of the BJP’s uneasy position in poll-bound Gujarat. Creation of half a million jobs for the state’s unemployed youth would mean wooing them back from the brink of revolt – a task that otherwise seemed impossible. In recent times, the BJP-led government in Gujarat has been in the eye of a storm with several thousand youths of the land-owning Patidar community – led by firebrand leader Hardik Patel — coming out in the streets demanding reservation in government jobs and state-owned firms. The influential Patidar community was otherwise considered BJP’s bastion, bringing in victories in successive elections in the last twenty years.