‘Delhi not recognizing JK’s efforts’

Sagar Calls For Increasing Wage Rate Under MGNREGA


New Delhi, Feb 2: Jammu and Kashmir Government Saturday complained about not getting due recognition from the Centre on the good work in rural development being done by the state despite the threat of militancy and inhospitable terrain.
The matter was raised by State Rural Development Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar at the MGNREGA Sammelan here which saw Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi giving away awards to districts and Gram Panchayats for commendable work in various categories of rural job scheme.
Addressing the programme, immediately after Singh and Sonia left the venue, Sagar said that many districts and Gram Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir were performing very well in rural development but the work was largely going unnoticed.
He said that the members of the local bodies and officials are working very hard in many villages in the state to implement rural development programmes despite threats emanating from gun-wielding militants and rough terrain of the state.
Chairing the meeting, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh acknowledged the difficulties involved in implementation of rural development programme in Jammu and Kashmir and assured that the good work of the Gram Panchayats and districts will be duly recognized in the next meet.
Asked why districts and gram Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir did not receive any award, a Rural Development Ministry official said that the Ministry had sent circular to all states including Jammu and Kashmir seeking proposals for awards, but the state government failed to respond to it.
Awards were instituted in different categories including effective leadership and team work in IAP, planning for water conservation, initiative in the challenging environment, effective mobilization of labour, revival of traditional water management and equity in participation.
Maintaining that MGNREGA has acted as a tool for accelerating the development of rural and far flung areas besides providing employment opportunities and stopping the distress migration, Sagar said that the new initiative of convergence of the scheme with other activities would go a long way in ensuring in its successful implementation and socio-economic transformation of the State.
Sagar said that the scheme has become a household name in the country side and the timely amendments in the Act on the operational guidelines based on the inputs from the field is a healthy step which synchronizes the implementation of this Act with the realities at the ground level. He said that the scheme has to a great extent acted as a tool to curb unemployment, disguised employment and provided employment opportunity at the doorsteps besides removing the regional disparities in the socio-economic development.
While calling for the increase in the wage rate from the existing one to Rs 150, the Minister pleaded the Union Government to come to the rescue of the State by enhancing the wage rate under MGNREGA in the State. He said that the issue of including the snow clearance as a permissible activity under the scheme may also be extended to the State as it shall be of a great help in providing employment opportunities during the winter months.
Sagar also asked for involving the job holders in other programmes and schemes of different departments maintaining that it would expand the opportunity of unskilled employment outside the domain of MGNREGA.
The Minister said that like other parts of the country, MGNREGA is becoming a backbone of the socio-economic development in rural areas and 10.55 lakh families have been registered under the scheme constituting about one half of the rural households as per the recent census. He said about 6 lakh families are actively availing the unskilled job opportunities under the scheme and the massive awareness campaigns and placement of Panchayati Raj Institutions in the State has ensured a geometrical fillip in the implementation of the scheme during the last three years.
In the Sammelan, the new operational guidelines were introduced for the implementation of the MGNREGA.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST

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