Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Panchayati Raj
01-December-2011 12:53 IST
Rural Business Hub Scheme
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been implementing a Central Sector Scheme of Rural Business Hubs (RBHs) for promoting businesses using raw materials/skills available in the rural areas. The scheme works on a Public-Private-Panchayat-Partnership model and is applicable in all the BRGF districts and all the districts in the North-Eastern Region. Assistance under RBH Scheme is available for professional support services, training/skill development and for purchase of minor equipment. The proposals under the scheme are prepared and sent by the willing and interested Implementing Agencies and are required to be sent through the State Government or District level officials. There is no State-wise allocation of funds. No expenditure is incurred by the State Governments on the proposals submitted by the Implementing Agencies. The financial assistance is provided to the Implementing Agencies in two instalments keeping in view the viability of their projects and proper utilization of the funds released. The scheme was started in the year 2007-08. More than 700 proposals have been received from Implementing Agencies, bulk of which have not been recommended by State Governments or District Level Officials. However, financial assistance has been provided for 76 proposals so far.

RBH is a demand driven scheme and no targets are fixed for it. The guidelines for RBH Scheme was revised on 20 October, 2011. The revisions made in the guidelines are to the effect:

(i) Earlier the proposals needed to be recommended by the Panchayati Raj Department of the concerned States/UTs Government. This condition has been relaxed and recommendation of District Collectors or Chief Executive Officers of the Zilla Parishad of the concerned District is considered adequate.

(ii) Earlier the proposals of RBH were to be considered and approved by an Empowerment Committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj. This has been discontinued. Now the proposals of RBH are initially examined by the RBH Division of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj in consultation with the Integrated Finance Division and the final approval is obtained from the Divisional Head of RBH.

The above information was given by the Minister of Panchayati Raj Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.