MNREGA funds for rural industrial hubs

 The State government will soon come out with a plan to utilise the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) funds for creating micro rural industrial hubs, improving rural infrastructure, beautification of villages and construction of cultural bhavans among others.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil said on Thursday that the aim was not only to generate employment but also improve rural infrastructure.

Hubs with focus on micro industries will be set up at panchayats close to cities. Steps would also be taken to encourage the sale of goods produced by artisans. In all, the State will be receiving Rs 3,151 crore from the Centre under the scheme for 2014-15.

The Union Ministry of Rural Development had recently proposed that the focus of MGNREGA should be to create infrastructure facilities related to agriculture. Patil reiterated that the government had set a deadline of August 31 to close defunct open borewells on private and government land. Of the 24,561 defunct borewells identified, as many as 23,156 had been closed as on August 18. 

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