Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Rural Development
01-November-2010 17:07 IST
Dr. C.P.Joshi Calls upon the Corporate Sector to explore FDI in Rural Infrastructure
The Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Dr.C.P.Joshi has called upon the Corporate Sector to explore the feasibility of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in rural infrastructure and services sector. He was addressing an international Conference on “Rural India Potential HUB for FDI” organized by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) here today. The Minister said that the rural potential for FDI lies in rural infrastructure and services sectors and the growth in these two would also trigger the next generation FDI inflows in the other industrial sectors. He called upon the corporate sector to help in making the Gram Panchayats self reliant.

Dr. Joshi said that the potential for private investment including FDI in rural areas has remained untapped for far too long. Citing an example of rural hosing, he said that about 19 percent of rural households lived in katcha structures and about 50 per cent liven in pucca structures. The remaining 31 percent of rural households lived in semi pucca structures. Government Of India has launched key programs which aim at overcoming the physical and social infrastructure problems faced in the rural development. 11th Five Year Plan has estimated shortage of a total 73.96 million housing units, of which 47.43 million units pertain to rural housing alone. This is an area where private investment would be most invaluable.

Dr. Joshi said that another area wherein the corporate sector can be of help is the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM). Under NRLM while working on poverty alleviation, the effort will be to reach out to 10 million youths in 7 years. NRLM will forge partnerships with industry, educational institutions, civil society organizations and other resource organizations.

He said that one of the most exciting experiments is the redesigned PURA Scheme. A few pilots are being launched in the Public Private Partnership mode shortly. This is a unique scheme which aims to converge several rural infrastructure and economic development schemes into a single project which would be implemented through the private sector. The project envisages not only development of infrastructure and economic activities but also maintenance of these for a period of tn years. Designed as a commercially viable project, on successful completion of the pilots the Government may scale it up to cover the entire country.