The government aims to increase the MSME sector's share in the GDP to 40 per cent to benefit the rural poor, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
Currently, around 6.5 crore micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) contribute 30 per cent to GDP.
The minister emphasised that a policy has to be made to empower the poor.
We are not in favour of westernisation, but we are in favour of modernisation, in the villages. This is the time for socio-economic transformation, the MSME minister said.
He called for lasting and transformative changes at the village level, through innovative, research-based technology specially adapted for rural areas, an official statement said.
Addressing a workshop at the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University at Wardha in Maharashtra, the minister pointed out that village industries and Khadi generate as much as Rs 88,000 crore on an annual basis.
This can be increased if the policy is flexible and innovative and is aimed at improving the lives of people living in villages. The minister also stressed that goods produced by village industries can be sold better if they are marketed better.
Recalling the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, Ram Manohar Lohia, and Jayaprakash Narayan, he said their aim was the same - to improve the lives of the poor living in villages.
Unless solutions are found to ensure that employment is generated in villages, and they are clean and have enough facilities, the dreams of these leaders will not be fulfilled, he said.
Migration of as much as 30 per cent of the country's population from rural areas has taken place since independence due to lack of growth in the village economy, the minister said.