Pranab Mukherjee launches rural development programme in Bengal

February 21st, 2009 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Jangipur (West Bengal), Feb 21 (IANS) Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee Saturday flagged off the rural industries programme (RIP) in Murshidabad district and advised a cluster approach among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) players in view of the ongoing recession.
“The financial crisis has reasonably affected India’s economy and we are also facing the meltdown heat. We have to take a cluster approach in our country during this economic slump,” Mukherjee said here at the RIP launch programme.

The RIP is a flagship development programme launched by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to promote viable enterprises in the rural and semi-urban sectors in the country. It includes services such as identifying rural enterprises and viable ventures based on local skills and recourses.

“Murshidabad is one of the backward districts in our country though there is an enormous potential to grow in the MSME sector. The government of India has also offered two stimulus packages to boost the MSME sector in India, in view of the current slowdown,” Mukherjee said.

He also released a detailed industrial potential survey, jointly brought out by SIDBI and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) Consultancy Services Limited (NABCONS).

Nabard is the apex development bank set up for promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries and cottage and village industries.

A compendium of 25 project profiles compiled by SIDBI was also released on the occasion and the project profiles are relevant to the economic activities in Murshidabad district, particularly at the micro enterprise level.

“We have already implemented RIP in 100 districts across India. About 30,000 enterprises, aggregating an investment of about Rs.1.5 billion, have benefited from this programme,” SIDBI chairman and managing director (CMD) R.M. Malla told reporters on the sidelines of the event.

“We are expecting to add 500 units in West Bengal in the next three to five years,” Malla said.

He said the industrial potential survey revealed there is a huge scope for agricultural food processing, rural artefacts and milk product industries to flourish in Murshidabad.

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