Rural business hubs to create more jobs

New Delhi, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
Implementation of rural business hubs (RBHs) can increase employment in the formal sector from 16 million to 37 million jobs, minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh said.

RBHs is a unique concept of private-public-Panchayat partnerships initiated by the ministry of Panchayati Raj and CII. It aims to broad-base economic growth in rural India by establishing direct links between locally available resources and production of goods of international standards.

Speaking at a national conference on RBHs, organised by the CII on Wednesday, Ramesh said the government had launched three initiatives to develop RBHs, that link up with existing government schemes.

This includes linking Swarna Jayanti Sampoorna Yojna and womens self-help groups, allocating Rs 3,750 crore to the ministry of Panchayati Raj for the development of 280 districts through the Backward Region Plant Fund and developing markets for handicrafts and leather products, through India Brand Equity Fund.

As many as 50 MoUs had been signed by companies to set up RBHs, said Panchayati raj minister Mani Shankar Aiyar at the conference. Of these, 27 are in Karnataka, 11 in Uttranchal, 13 in Tamil Nadu, 3 in Haryana and 1 in UP. Another 72 firms have also expressed interest. in setting up RBHs.