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Punjab to develop Rural Business Hubs: CM

By Staff
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Chandigarh, Feb 24 (UNI) The Punjab government will develop selective villages as Rural Business Hubs (RBH) to ensure a self-sustained economy, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said today.

Taking part in the deliberations on rural business hubs organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, he underlined the need to develop villages into business hubs.

These hubs will be developed with the participation of farmers/artisans from selective villages of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda, Sangrur and Ferozepur districts in a phased manner.

Capt Singh said that the state government would soon constitute a Punjab State RBH Council to identify the potential hubs in the state. Apart from this it would also organise an RBH awareness programme and prepare a product profile for these hubs, he added.

The Chief Minister said that this concept would go a long way in supplementing the income, especially of the small and marginal farmers who had small land holdings. He pointed out that wheat-paddy rotation is no more remunerative due to the steep escalation in the costs of agricultural inputs.

He hoped that such hubs would prove to be a boon for the Punjabi farmers because of their receptive nature, resilience and hard work.

Outlining the salient features of RBH, Mr Sunil Munjal, former President CII said that rural hubs are groups of 10-15 villages (a block) where specialised product development flourishes. These are built through skill and support inputs provided by industry and NGOs in collaboration with Panchayati Raj Institutions, with backup support from Centre/States/ Multilateral bodies.

He said that Assam, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal have already constituted the RBH councils.

Mr Munjal stated that Punjab had a tremendous potential for RBH ventures for artisan products like handlooms, iron and steel products, leather products, pottery and food products like dry mushrooms etc.

Capt Singh assured that the various cooperative agencies existing in the state would be involved for the setting up of RBHs since the farmer cooperative network is more predominant in the state as compared to panchayats.

UNI HS CS KP1807

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