Mani Shankar Aiyar’s Thai dream, by Sheela Bhatt

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar on Saturday announced a highly ambitious project called Rural Business Hubs, which will aim to eradicate rural poverty and create employment opportunity in rural India.

If it is implemented successfully, the project will have far reaching consequences, it is said.

Learning from China, Thailand and Japan’s experience of commercialisation of the rural areas and its produces, India has developed the concept, which will eventually cover 2.5 lakh village panchayats, 6000 medium sized panchayats and 600 zilla parishads, Aiyar said, while talking to

“We will use the huge human resources available to us in the form of 3 million elected panchayat members, including one million women,” he said.

Aiyar explained that China promoted industrialisation in rural areas as part of countrywide development. The RBH’s aim is to use rural resources, involve community participation and create need in local areas for the business.

Aiyar said, “I am modifying the management concept of three Ps into Four Ps. Instead of Public, Private and Participation, my project envisages Public, Private and Panchayat and Participation.”

The RBH will employ two concepts.

Total Village Management, which will encourage a sense of full ownership among villagers and where self-reliance will be the key.

Institutions like the Confederation of Indian Industries and National Institute of Fashion Technology will help them in capacity building.

The second concept is One Tambon One Product. (In Thailand, a Tambon is a sub-district, which encourages rural development)

OTOP project helps Thais in manufacturing a collection of products using local materials based on local culture, tradition and nature.
Story found here.