The Government of India will shortly sign 22 agreements with private companies such as the Tatas, Reliance and Microsoft to set up rural business hubs in the country.
Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said these rural hubs would help farmers to sell their produce at the best possible prices. Aiyar said under the government's e-Governance initiative, rural areas would also be connected. Better electricity supply would be ensured so that the e-Governance programme takes off in rural areas, he said. The Panchayati Raj Ministry has already signed 45 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for setting up rural hubs. Speaking on the occasion, ASSOCHAM President Anil K Agarwal recommended e-Governance for better administration in the country and to push India's growth rate to double digits. e-Governance, using Internet and telecom to provide faster, efficient and reliable services at affordable prices, is a move from a government centric to a citizen centric paradigm in service provision. Agarwal said, to start treating citizens as clients rather than beneficiaries of government services and to empower them to demand convenient cost effective and transparent services from the government is the primary objective.