Shillong, June 29: Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma has announced an additional fund of Rs. 1 lakh for every Village Employment Council (VEC) that complete 80 percent of mandays for their identified projects under MGNREGA.
Addressing a conference of VECs for the entire Garo Hills region on ‘Innovation and Convergence’ at Tura on Thursday, he urged VECs to move forward with greater commitment and create sustainable assets in their villages that can benefit generations to come through convergence and innovative approach.
The conference was attended by Commissioner and Secretary (C&RD), P. Sampath Kumar, Deputy Commissioners of West and South West Garo Hills, Pravin Bakshi and C.V.D Diengdoh, local leaders, DRDA Project Directors of Garo Hills and over 3000 VEC members from the five districts of Garo Hills.
Acknowledging the important role played by VECs in the implementation of MGNREGS, the Chief Minister said that the occasion was an opportunity for them to come together and look back on what has been achieved and what more needs to be done for the future.
Terming MGNREGS the most “inclusive programme” in the whole world, designed to bring socio-economic transformative changes in villages, Sangma called upon the VECs to continue issuing job cards to every new family in their village, because, the more job card holders they have, the more amount of money they would receive.
Sangma informed that the government has decided to increase the project management cost to the VECs from 1 to 2 percent with a ceiling of Rs. 20,000.
Calling for timely release of wages to job card holders, he said, “even if there is a delay in sanctioning of fund from the Centre, a corpus fund is already in place in the State so that they can go ahead in implementing the projects. Compensatory amount will also be given in case of late payment due to certain reasons.”
Stating that the VEC model in the state is the best in the country which is linked to traditional institution, the Chief Minister also called upon the VECs to strive towards achieving 100 percent mandays generation.
Releasing the Livestock Mission Document on the occasion, Sangma said that the Livestock Mission would be launched in the State shortly to create sustainable livelihood in rural areas.
During the five-year mission, 40 percent of rural households would be provided with livestock farming, including piggery and poultry on convergence mode, Sangma said, adding that the mission would go a long way in addressing nutritional deficiency in the State.
The ‘best and most innovative’ VECs from the districts in Garo Hills were felicitated and a theme song on MGNREGA which was later performed by artistes from Shillong was also released on the occasion.
The Chief Minister also gave away certificates of appreciation to wholesale and fair-price shop dealers of West Garo Hills district to acknowledge their contribution in the successful implementation of National Food Security Act.
In his keynote address, the Commissioner & Secretary (C&RD) urged the VECs to look back on what has been done and best practices under the programme, and move forward with a vision for the future.
He also said that the vision converting villages as most livable villages would be possible only through MGNREGS.
Kumar said that the State government under its ‘Sustainable Development Programme’ would take up water harvesting and conservation in a big way.
“As many as 7000 spring sheds in the entire state would be revived through MGNREGS under the programme,” Kumar added.