State

Junior panchayati raj minister to pursue direct funding to traditional bodies  

Shillong, Sept 22: Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Kapil Moheshwar Patil on Wednesday visited Shillong and reviewed the programmes of his ministry being implemented in the state.

The minister spoke about how funds of the 15th Finance Commission meant for local self government for the development of the villages, can be made available to the traditional institutions of the villages in Meghalaya in the same way as it is done in respect of the villages where there is Gram Panchayat.

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The minister said he will take up the matter with the Finance Commission to devise solutions to the difficulties faced by the autonomous district councils and traditional village institutions in respect of receipt of funds so that the traditional institutions can continue doing the good works for the development of villages in this state.

The minister assured that all possible assistance will be provided by the ministry of Panchayat Raj headed by Union Minister Giriraj Singh, so that villages in Meghalaya as well as in other states of the North East can effectively utilise the benefits of the schemes of the central government for development of every village.

MGNREGA review

The minister also reviewed MGNREGA, PMAY-G, NRLM, RGSA and other flagship programmes of the government. Community & Rural Development minister Hamletson Dohling was also present.

The minister expressed his satisfaction over the proper implementation of schemes even without the presence of formal gram panchayats.

“In Meghalaya, community ownership is evident in the implementation of government schemes and this is the reason why a record amount of Rs 1500 crore has been utilised under MGNREGA in a small state like Meghalaya,” he said.

Principal Secretary Sampath Kumar, while referring to the report titled, ‘Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households and Land and Holdings of Households in Rural India, 2019’ said an average farmer household in Meghalaya in 2018-19 earned about Rs 29,348 per month whereas a Punjab farmer’s household earned about Rs 26,701.

Patil mentioned the benefits of Swamitva Yojana which aims to create a record of land ownership in rural areas using modern technology. He said that property card for every property in the village will be prepared by states using accurate measurements delivered by drone-mapping. These cards will be given to property owners and will be recognised by the land revenue records department. Referring to Meghalaya, where the land is scattered, the minister appealed to the state government to devise a policy to provide property cards to villagers. The delivery of property rights through an official document will enable villagers to access bank finance using their property as collateral, he added.

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