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Economic Development

Introduction

Local Economic Development (LED) Plan outlines an impact based local initiative driven by local stakeholders. It locates local resources, local skills, favorable environment, identifying demand-driven activities to stimulate economic growth and development. It aims to create employment opportunities, improve standard of living of the residents- especially poor and reallocate resources & opportunities to the interest of entire population within the jurisdiction of this ULB.
                                                                          
The LED under DDP refers to the institutional, regulatory and infrastructural initiatives undertaken by ULB to enhance economic growth with business environment friendly ambience to attract and retain businessmen both small and large sector with sustainable employment avenues for the local population.

Under LED Plan of Kurseong Municipality- a set of tangible benefits to be manifested through a vibrant & robust local economy leading to an improved revenue generation mechanism potential through collection of property taxes, trade licenses and other commercial levies and improved well-being of local residents resulting in a likelihood of an increase in recovery of civic taxes and user charges.

Having been gone through various reports, statistics and feedback from community emerged in a participatory way-Kurseong Municipality has evolved an integrated Local Economic Development Plan in line with DDP guidelines in order to achieve economic sustainability within Municipal area where special emphasis has been placed upon BPL and marginalized section towards their economic enhancement and improved standard of living in the days to come.

Hence Local Economic Development (LED) offers local government, the private sector, the not-for-profit sectors and the local community the opportunity to work together to improve the local economy. It aims to enhance competitiveness and thus encourage sustainable growth that is inclusive. The purpose of local economic development (LED) is to build up the economic capacity of a local area to improve its economic future and the quality of life for all. It is a process by which public, business and non-governmental sector partners work collectively to create better conditions for economic growth and employment generation.

Chapter 1: Development Goals or Objectives for Local Economic Development Plan

Goal: Kurseong to have a separate identity of a school town in global map and thereby giving impetus to economic development and employment generation

 

Development Objective:

  1. To ensure strict and transparent regulatory process towards revenue generation within the jurisdiction of the Kurseong Municipality
  2. Facilitating and modernising educational infrastructure  and Regulatory mechanism towards economic development of the municipal area
  3. Facilitating and developing in Public-Private partnership a hi-tech school town infrastructure with facilities like, a state of art library, tutorials, internet kiosks, hostels, and sporting activities.
  4. Sustainable employment generation for youth in the newly build infrastructure like canteens, cooked food home delivery ,  food processing units
  5. To uplift financial and social status of informal sector by enhancement of capacity and up gradation of existing skills of the target sector within Municipal jurisdiction by ensuring sustainable Income Generating options by introducing modern vocational courses like call centre training, computers, Beautician, gardening, spoken English, customer handling, communication skills etc.
  6. Strong intra transport system to all the routes leading to educational infrastructure
  7. Renovation of all municipal market complex
  8. Regular quality checks mechanism.
  9. Encouraging & ensuring marketing for potential school business.
  10. Rehabilitation street vendors & youth in stress and vulnerability
  11. To provide basic infrastructure to enhance economic activities and attract potential investors and businessperson in this process.
  12. To liaise with local banks, financial institutions and in line department of Government to     facilitate economic transformation amongst marginalized community.

 

The focus areas in LED:

    • To ensure Economic well being of the area, encourage growth of Small Scale and business activities.
    • Encourage regional collaboration and Partnership- towards facilitating Investment.
    • Encourage promotion of Cottage & handicrafts based tiny industries by enhancing skill and providing investment opportunity for the community engaged with such activities.
    • Ensure credit linkages for Small Scale Industries and service sectors.
    • Linkages and partnership with various Government sponsored programmes/DIC/ Corporate towards creation of employment opportunity and poverty eradication.
    • Facilitation of smooth building plan sanction, Trade Licence issuance and other regulatory activities to attract investors.

Chapter 2: Review of Existing Situation – (Situation Assessment)

II. Kurseong ULB

Although the urbanization process is widely acknowledged to be associated with increasing levels of national production and higher levels of per capita GDP, poverty remains a persistent feature of urban life in India, both in terms of income and immigrants’ living conditions. Economic growth in cities has been found to be insufficient to achieve poverty alleviation. Government action has focused on welfare and habitat improvements under various poverty alleviation programmes but has been unable to make linkages between these improvements and increases in productivity and income for the urban poor.

The weaknesses of current policies of poverty alleviation at the national level are due to certain misconceptions about poverty: 

•  Firstly, that the poor represent a drain on the urban economy rather than a source of productivity.

•  Secondly, that poverty can be seen as a welfare question, with income - raising objectives left largely to national economic growth reports and assumed trickle-down development processes.

Under these backgrounds, this is an attempt to prepare a local economic development plan to create a vivacious economy for all the local stakeholders’ of Kurseong ULB through time bound identified projects/schemes/recommendation for the year 2008-2013.

 

III. Principles governing LED

An Integrated Approach: This requires all the local stakeholders including all levels of government, business, education institutions and the community to work together so as to create a vibrant local economy, through a long-term investment strategy that:

Encourages local enterprise Serves the needs of local residents, workers, and businesses Promotes stable employment and revenues by building on local competitive advantages Protects the natural environment Enhances social equity.

Development Objectives and Inclusion: ULBs need a strategy based on clearly identified objectives for economic development. Visioning, planning and implementation efforts should continually involve all sectors, including the voluntary civic sector and those traditionally left out of the public planning process, namely the poor, minority communities and women.

Poverty Reduction: Local economic development efforts should be targeted at reducing poverty by improving the skills of low-income individuals to match local requirements, addressing the needs of families moving off welfare, and insuring the availability in all communities of quality and affordable housing and basic services.

Local Focus: Because each community's most valuable assets are the ones they already have, and existing businesses are already contributing to local communities, economic development efforts should give first priority to supporting existing enterprises as the best source of business expansion and local job growth. Local economic development should focus instead on promoting local entrepreneurship to build locally based industries and businesses that can succeed among national and international competitors.

Industry Clusters: Communities should identify specific gaps and niches their economies can fill, and promote a diversified range of specialized industry clusters drawing on local advantages to serve local and international markets.

Long-Term Investment: Publicly supported economic development programs, investments, and subsidies should be evaluated on their long-term benefits and impacts on the whole community, not on short-term job or revenue increases. Public investments and subsidies should be equitable and targeted, support environmental and social goals, and prioritize infrastructure and supportive services that promote the vitality of all local enterprises, instead of individual firms.

Human Investment: Human resources are the building blocks of local communities and therefore efforts should be made to provide life-long skills and learning opportunities by investing in excellent schools, post-secondary institutions, and opportunities for continuous education and training available to all.

Environmental Responsibility: Communities should support and pursue economic development that maintains or improves, not harms, the environmental and public health.

Regional Collaboration and Partnership: Since industries, transportation, land uses, natural resources, and other key elements of a healthy economy are regional in scope, communities and the private sector should cooperate to create regional structures.

 

IV. Benefits of Local Economic Development

Urban Local Bodies can greatly benefit from an effective local economic development strategy in primarily two ways. The first is a set of tangible benefits which manifests itself through a vibrant and robust local economy leading to an improved revenue enhancement potential through collection of property taxes, trade licenses and other commercial charges, and improved well-being of local residents resulting in a likelihood of an increase in recovery of civic taxes and user charges.

The second is a set of intangible benefits arising from an improved perception of potential investors regarding the investment climate and opportunities in the Municipal Area, a collaborative environment between Urban Local Bodies, State Government (and para - statal agencies) and the private sector which results in increased confidence of industry and higher levels of government in the ability and seriousness of the Urban Local Bodies to play a more involved role in facilitating regional economic growth.

 

The purpose of preparation of the Local Economic Development Plan is:

    • To deal with key regulatory, infrastructure and facilitation issues which impinge on local economic development and are within the mandate of the ULB to address.
    • To enable the ULB to create a “partnership” with higher levels of government as well as industry groups to promote inward investment and create jobs by providing a suitable enabling business environment.
    • To assist the ULB to identify and undertake initiatives for Local Economic Development, in the form of realistic and time-bound projects. The plan should be able to prioritise projects that can be implemented in the 5 year DDP tenure.
    • To arrive at a shelf of projects which can be financed through its own resources, funds from various State/central Government sources or through Public Private Partnerships.
    • To identify linkages with other sub-component Plans of the DDP.
 
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