We have miles to go in improving rural India: Jaitley

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Finance minister Arun Jaitley today said the country has "miles to go" to improve investment flows into farm sector, rural infrastructure and housing in villages.

"I don't want to say that nothing has been done but still we have miles to go. Capital formation in agriculture which is the key to the development of the rural infrastructure. That is the one area where we are still hugely lacking," he said at a function organised by Nabard here.

"We have embarked upon rural roads programme, embarked upon several irrigation (projects). We talk about affordable housing in urban areas but rural housing is still not being mentioned as part of larger national agenda," Jaitley said.

The government therefore has decided to provide housing for all in the next few years.

Besides, it would be government's endeavour to provide power to all, toilet to all, clean water to all and reasonable access to rural roads in the next few years, he added.

"It's difficult and challenging but absence of this can never give us satisfaction," he said.

Praising the efforts of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), Jaitley said it has played key role in development of rural India which comprises of largest percentage of India's population.

"Nabard has become pivotal organisation doing work for different fields of in the rural areas which are all included under the larger umbrella of rural development. It's perhaps the most challenging field of the economic activity which has been assigned to Nabard," he added.

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