New Delhi, February 7: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday said that the government aims to increase the MSME sector's share in the GDP to 40 per cent to benefit the rural poor. At present, around 6.5 crore micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) contribute 30 percent to the GDP. While addressing a workshop at the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University at Wardha in Maharashtra, Gadkari emphasised that a policy has to be made to empower the poor.

The MSME Minister added saying that village industries and Khadi generate as much as Rs 88,000 crore on an annual basis. “We are not in favour of westernization, but we are in favour of modernization, in the villages. This is the time for socio-economic transformation”, Gadkari said. He said this can be increased if policy is flexible and innovative, and is aimed at improving the life of people living in villages. The minister also stressed that goods produced by village industries can be sold better if they are marketed better.

Gadkari stressed on the point that migration of as much as 30 percent of the country's population from rural areas has taken place since independence due to lack of growth of the village economy. Gadakri recalled the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan and said that 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.