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'Provide infrastructure to 80 pc of 593 districts'

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 19: If 472 of the 593 districts of the country are provided with basic infrastructure such as electricity, housing and roads, a market three times the size of the urban economy would be created, McKinsey report said.

Almost half of these districts are totally deprived as far as infrastructure is concerned, said India McKinsey and Co in its presentation at the CII conference.

Rural India presented a plethora of investment opportunities for the private sector which it could not ignore, the report said.

It suggested that if the nature of the business conducted in the rural areas could be changed, it would transform the economy of these areas. In particular, it identified that five food-based programmes including fruit and vegetables, wheat, dairy, poultry, and wine, and five non-food based sectors like cotton textiles, tourism, handicrafts, Jatropha plantation and pulpwood cultivation, should be given priority in the rural sector as had been done in several countries.

The study conducted by McKinsey&Co, which is partnering the Bharat Nirman project with the Government, recognised the widening of the rural-urban divide and stated that significant disparities exist even within rural India.

Classifying rural India into four tiers -- Urban Cousins, Rural Economic Centers, Able and Deprived districts -- it uncovered that fifty per cent of the rural population lives in ''deprived'' districts and has an average per capita income that is 30 per cent lower than rural average.

UNI

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