Reach out to rural economy: PM

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday urged industry to reach out to the rural economy and contribute in the efforts aimed at skill development.

‘The prime minister remarked on the need for industry to reach out to the rural economy and contribute in the efforts in skill development,’ a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said after the first meeting of the the PM’s Council on Trade and Industry.

Manmohan Singh also invited the members to form sub-groups on subjects of their interest including food security, public private partnerships, backward area development and corporate social responsibility in order to deliberate further on these issues and give their recommendations to the government, the statement said.

The PMO ‘will coordinate and facilitate these groups’, it added.

The meeting, which was attended, among others, by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and C. Rangarajan, chairman of the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council, ‘deliberated on India’s industrial growth and achievements’, the statement said.

‘The members also held wide-ranging discussions on various issues, including use of clean technology for energy and economic security, research and development to further industrial growth, contribution of industries in food security and affirmative action for social inclusion,’ the statement added.

‘Members expressed confidence in the strength of the Indian economy and its rising contribution to the global economy and reiterated that the economy was well on its way to return to a high growth trajectory of 9 percent plus growth rate,’ the statement said.

Among the members who attended the meeting were V. Krishnamurthy, Ratan Tata, Ashok Ganguly, Keshub Mahindra, Mukesh Ambani, R.P. Goenka, Azim Premji, Sunil Mittal, Swati Piramal, Deepak Parekh, Jamshed Godrej, Kiran Mazumdhar Shaw, Chanda Kochhar and Sunil Kant Munjal.

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