Huge gap between virtual and real India : Kamal Nath

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today said a 9.4 per cent growth is sustainable only if it reaches the rural India and reduces the rural indebtness.

''There is a remarkable mismatch between virtual India and rural India. The 650 million people engaged in agriculture remain disconnected with the Indian growth story,'' Mr Nath said while inaugurating the 'Rural Business Summit' organised by industry chamber Ficci.

Suggesting that the loan disbursement by the banks were leading to repayment problems on the part of the farmers, Mr Nath stressed that the biggest challenge India is confronting today is of rural indebtness.

''With the lending operations, the banks are making money, which they should. However, the ultimate burden to repay the loans fall on the farmers,'' Mr Nath said.

He also said private participation can help in a big way for the developement of rural India.

Ficci President Habib Khorakiwala emphasised the need for public private partnership (PPP), ''The corporate India is efficient and effective and want to participate in the rural development.

We should promote entrepreneurship and employment generation in the rural areas.'' The lack of adequate and remunerative employment oppurtunities in the rural areas has led to large-scale migration rom rural areas to urban areas. The elasticity of employment in the agricultural sector has almost fallen to zero, thereby creating the need to look at other sectors for employment generation with in the rural sector, he said.

There is a need for a multi-fold increase in the models for the development of the rural India, Mr Khorakiwala added.

UNI

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