3 Jun 2012

Union Rural Development Minister Jayram Ramesh visited Uttarakhand

Union Rural Development Minister Jayram Ramesh said that there would be no dearth for the development programs in Uttarakhand. He assured of positive decision on providing fund for Drinking Water Projects in 90:10 ratio and relaxation on forest clearance.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna stating that the previous government had failed to take benefit of centrally sponsored development programs said that the present government would try to expedite the Central Projects. He said that 300 villages would be connected with PMGSY and Uttarakhand would be transformed into a 'Nirmal Rajya' in coming five years. Mr. Bahuguna said that a system was being developed to credit pension amount directly in the bank accounts. He said that necessary measures would be taken to benefit the Van Panchayats from MNREGA.
Chief Minister Bahuguna during the meeting with the Union Minister Jayram Ramesh at Secretariat on Saturday urged him to provide Central assistance on 90:10 ratio to Uttarakhand like being presently provided to North-Eastern states and considering geographical condition of Uttarakhand the fund sanctioned under MNREGA be provided in 60:40 ratio. Mr. Ramesh said that out of 2531 habitation with more than 250 population, 1025 had been approved by the Centre to connect them to Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna. However, only 650 had been connected so far.  He asked the State Government to take PMGSY seriously. He said that all the villages would be connected with the roads by coming four years. There would be no shortage of fund for this, he asserted and added that the State could take help from the Centre for any technical assistance, preparation of DPR and contract management.
Union Minister Ramesh, describing the MNREGA important for checking migration from hill areas said that 30 more works had been added in it. Stating that presently the fund was being allocated by the Centre under MNREGA directly to districts, Mr. Ramesh suggested to set up State Fund. He said that the Centre would disburse the amount to State Fund which could further disburse it to districts as per their requirements. He said that a member of the family that had completed 100 days employment under MNREGA would be given skill development training under National Rural Employment Mission. Mr. Ramesh disclosed that amount of Indira Awas would be increased to Rs. 20, 000 per unit from existing Rs. 10, 000 for all those states with more than 50 percent forest.
Union Minister said that Rs. 160 crore had been allocated for Drinking Water projects to Uttarakhand for 2012-13 and if State recorded expenditure of 60 percent of the fund by September then the Centre would allocate additional amount. He stated that out of 7555 villages in the state only 525 villages could be brought under Nirmal Gram category.
Mr. Ramesh also laid emphasis on ensuring regular credit of pension amount to beneficiaries. He said that the amount be directly credited in the pension accounts. He revealed that the Centre had sanctioned Rs. 21 crore under NRLM in which federations of districts, blocks and gram panchayats would be constituted. He said that 25 lakh women were to be affiliated to Self Help Groups. When the Union Minister was urged to connect Van Panchayats to MNREGA, he stressed on attaching them to Gram Panchayats first.
Also present in the meeting were Rural Development Minister Pritam Singh, Peyjal Minister Mantri Prasad Naithani, Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain, Principal Secretary and FRDC Vinita Kumar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DK Kotia, officers of Central and State Governments.

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