Technology and science can strengthen rural economy: Gadkari

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Aurangabad, Dec 20 (PTI) Synergy of research, technology and science can help strengthen the rural economy in India which could help in stopping migration to cities, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Sunday.

He was speaking while inaugurating a technical excellence centre at the MGM University in Aurangabad via video conference.

'Research, technology and science can help strengthen the rural economy. A separate dimension of research should be undertaken for strengthening the rural economy which would help bring down migration from areas like Vidarbha and Marathwada to Pune and Mumbai...This will also take back the migrated people to their respective native places,' said the Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSME.

He also said the government was planning to cut down the import of crude oil, and to stop it eventually.

'Farmers can play a crucial role in making the country independent in making fuel. We have excess (production) of sugar, rice and maize in the country which can be used to make Ethanol,' the BJP MP said.

He said sugar factories should start manufacturing Ethanol 'which will be bought by fuel companies as a policy for at least next five years'.

'We have successfully manufactured tractors which can run on bio-CNG and can save at least Rs 1 lakh of a farmer per year. This will help strengthen the rural economy in the country,' the Union minister added.

Gadkari also underlined the importance of the automobile industry in Aurangabad and Pune in Maharashtra.

'Pune and Aurangabad are very important centres of the automobile industry. We are planning to launch a scrap policy which will help us to get scrap (material) from other parts of the world. After segregation, we can get metal at a cheaper cost, which will help us in (global) competition. We are planning to make India the biggest manufacturing hub in the country,' Gadkari said.

The government is also planning to raise the MSME sector export to 60 per cent in the next five years from the current 48 per cent, he said.

Chairman of MGM organisation and former minister Kamalkishor Kadam and others attended the function. PTI AW NSK NSK