One of the criticisms of the GDP oriented growth has been that it creates disparity as the growth benefits mainly the rich. In this regard Gujarat has launched a programme to connect over 10 lakh rural jobs to industrial projects in next 3 to 5 years.
Gujarat govt. has started Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Council (GLPC) as a nodal agency to bring bank finance to several thousand SHGs in rural and semi-rural business hubs. It is planned that corporates would provide training to these SHGs, who will produce goods which ultimately be procured by these companies itself. Idea being that the companies will train the workers to suit their buying requirements. Several big names (ITC, Tata Motors, Godrej, and Reliance) have signed MOUs with GLPC. Future Group (Food Bazaar) has also decided to make Gujarat the hub of its backward integration and procurement.
What is unique about the experiment (compared to China, where growth was driven by a large number of factories in the rural areas) that the focus is self-employment through SHGs and not jobs.
Let us wait and see how the experiment pans out in future. If successful could become a major harbinger of creating opportunities in the rural areas.
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