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Reliance, Tatas, ITC among 31 projects for rural business hubs

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THE MINISTER of State for Commerce, Mr Jairam Ramesh (right), with past-president of CII, Mr Sunil Munjal, and the Union Minister for Panchayati Raj, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, at a press conference in the Capital on Wednesday. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , July 12

A total of 31 memorandums of understanding have been signed towards the rural business hubs (RBH) project involving Reliance, Tatas, Coco-Cola, ITC, Mahindra and Mahindra and Microsoft among others.

RBH is a public-private-panchayat partnership initiative wherein the industry will be involved with rural resources and skill to develop products of internationally accepted quality.

While speaking at a meeting on Wednesday, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, Union Minister for Panchayati Raj, said: "Our Ministry is ensuring the convergence of the Central Government and the State Government scheme relevant to various RBHs and there will be 55 of them very soon".

The various sectors that have been identified by the Ministry for the development of hubs include food processing, agri-products, poultry and animal husbandry, fisheries, rural tourism, bio-fuel, power generation through agri-waste and handloom and handicrafts.

Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, said that medicinal plants, horticulture and handicrafts have been identified as the major export potential sectors.

He also said that a proposal has been made to develop medicinal plants export promotion zones in Uttaranchal, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the North-East region.

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