NE Ministers urge for civic-business boost for rural mass

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Agartala, Oct 9 (UNI) Rural Development ministers of Northeastern states unanimously urged the centre to ensure civic amenities to the people living in rural areas and provide them facilities for business activities.

Tripura Rural Development Minister Jitendra Choudhury told UNI over telephone that all the states of the region had demanded minimising the infrastructure gap between rural and urban areas during India Rural Business Summit in Guwahati yesterday.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) under the aegis of the Ministry of Rural Development and the Department of Commerce had organised a two-day summit for NE states as an interface between the agencies for managing poverty and unemployment.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Choudhury emphasised on building up of the rural economy through skill upgradation and entrepreneurship development among the rural masses by way of technological assistance and micro credit at reasonable rates of interest.

He underlined that lack of markets in rural areas and lack of adequate awareness of market trends among the rural artisans.

''There is an urgent need for strong support systems from the centre and other institutions to facilitate the rural entrepreneurs and producers to utilise the modern market and economic efforts,'' Mr Choudhury said.

Appreciating Centre's initiative to implement the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) - aimed at creating sustainable income generating activities for the rural poor in an effort to bring them out of the poverty level, Mr Choudhury said about 26.59 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) have been formed and at a total investment of Rs 18824.32 crore. About 88.5 lakh people had been given assistance in the country.

The minister lauded FICCI for taking an initiative in recognising the potentials of the vibrant rural economy as a crucial factor in the growth of national economy and asked the captains of Indian Industry to come forward for providing necessary training and financial help to the rural entrepreneurs and artisans for the skill development.

Meanwhile, Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Singh Prasad praised the performance of the region in implementation of the research and development projects.

He said the Centre was providing all possible help to rural artisans in a bid to eradicate poverty and unemployment from the rural areas.

Dr Prasad assured to provide necessary technological assistance and micro credits, besides assistance in the production of intermediate goods in the rural areas.

UNI

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