Expressing dismay over mediocre performance in implementation of MGNREGA in Pulwama, the Minister for Rural Development, Abdul Haq today took a serious note of fewer man-days generated in the district. He has ordered initiation of action against the non-performing officers in the district.
Speaking at a meeting convened here to review the status of implementation of various schemes in the Rural Development sector, the Minister asked the officers to ensure transparency in the department and keep public informed about the decisions taken at village level. He said every citizen should be aware of the activities of the department and it is duty of the field staff to make people a part of the decision making by ensuring their presence in the Gram Sabhas.
The Minister was informed that the approved labor budget for the financial year 2017-18 for the district is Rs 15.72 crore and work done liability of previous year (2016-17) is Rs 11.49 crore.
The meeting was informed that the department has generated 2.046 lakh man days in the district under MGNREGA for 42998 job card holders who include unskilled and unemployed youth of the district. Officials said Rs 10.84 crore have been spent under the scheme out of the total availability of Rs 12.11 crore.
Abdul Haq said the basic aim of the MGNREGA is to provide job to unemployed, unskilled youth of the state but simultaneously the same human resource is used to create durable assets in the village and this year the government has laid stress on the building road connectivity in rural areas and doing flood protection works.
The Minister was further informed that under flood protection works under convergence, the department has spent Rs 3.26 crore during 2016-17. Further the department has spend Rs 130.27 lacs on the construction of steel decked bridges/stadiums under creation of assets during 2016-17.
Also the department has incurred expenditure to the tune of Rs 44.42 lacs in convergence mode with line departments such as health, education, sheep husbandry, youth sports and ICDS.
Under Swacch Bharat Mission Rs 42.10 lacs have been spent out of Rs 44.97 lacs as on 01-04-2017 during 2017-18.
While reviewing the Panchayat wise performance of the department in view of the implementation of MGNREGA,SBM, PMAY, 13 FC and other schemes, the Minister exhorted the concerned officers to ensure that the benefits of all the developmental projects percolate down to the desired beneficiaries.
The Minister said the Rural Development Department is being made accountable to the masses for their larger benefit. He said the prime concern of the government is to strengthen democracy at grassroots level through Panchayats and Gram Sabhas which act as mini Parliaments in rural areas.
Referring the MGNREGA as an ecological act, the Minister gave directions to the officials to take works that are environment friendly. Hailing the rural department, he said that this is the one department which has potential to change the rural landscape. He urged the officers to work with great zeal and enthusiasm so that the expectation of people will be met.
Among others, Minister of State for Forests, Environment and Fisheries Zahoor Ahmad Mir, MLA Pulwama Mohammad Khalil Bandh, MLA Tral Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama G M Dar, Secretary Sports Council, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, Director RDD Gazanfar Ali, ADC Pulwama, Additional Mission Director NRLM were also present.
Earlier Minister reviewed the progress made under National Rural Livelihoods Mission. The district officer NRLM Pulwama gave a power point presentation highlighting the aims and objectives of the scheme and various notable achievements recorded in the district.
It was stated that the main aim of this scheme is to reduce poverty and ensure appreciable improvement in the income of beneficiaries on a sustainable basis.
Officials said that JKNRLM(UMEED) has formed 497 SHG’s and more than 40 village organizations in the district. Various members of Self Help Groups were present in the meeting and shared their experience while being associated with UMEED scheme.
They apprised the chair that UMEED has been responsible for their changed life and now they feel they are empowered.
The Minister congratulated the SHGs for taking up these activities and said that the project is aimed at encouraging rural women to make small savings so that their SHGs will eventually become bankable at reduced rate of interest. He said that government is quite hopeful that the scheme will change socio-economic conditions of the women in state and can be a very good poverty elimination scheme in J&K.