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Meghalaya launches programme to revive activities stalled due to Coronavirus outbreak

Meghalaya launches programme to revive activities stalled due to Coronavirus outbreak
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Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma (File photo | PTI)

Highlights

Sangma said that his government is focusing on the agriculture sector and taking steps to become one of the best performers in the MGNREGA programme in the country.

Shillong: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Saturday launched Rs 14,515 crore Restart Meghalaya Mission to revive various developmental activities that have stalled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sangma said that his government is focusing on the agriculture sector and taking steps to become one of the best performers in the MGNREGA programme in the country.

"I am launching the Restart Meghalaya Mission comprising a series of programmes to support our farmers and entrepreneurs to build growth-promoting basic infrastructure," Sangma said at the Independence Day programme attended by a small gathering in the Polo grounds here.

"I am committing an amount of Rs 14,515 crore which is to be spent over the next three years. Out of this, Rs 7,839 crore has been earmarked for this year," he said.

According to the chief minister, the first programme under the mission is related to the primary sector.

"Farming and farmers lie at the epicentre of our rejuvenation plan.

The economic slogan today is localisation, not globalisation, and we in Meghalaya strive to become self-sufficient in production and marketing of agri-allied sectors," Sangma said.

The chief minister said that the state government has taken a target of doubling the number of Kissan Credit Card holders from the current 86,000 within the next one year and decided to make interest subvention of 2 per cent on timely repayment of KCC loans, a first in the state.

He said that 400 agri-entrepreneurs will be provided with power tillers with 50 per cent subsidy, costing the state Rs 4 crore.

This year the MGNREGA expenditure is expected to touch 1,600 crore making Meghalaya one of the best performers in the programme, the CM said.

The state government also wants to construct 47,000 houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana at an estimated cost of 611 crore, he said.

The state government has recently decided to reserve 50 per cent of leadership positions in the village employment council to women, besides targeting 3.5 lakh women under the National Rural Livelihood Mission at an expenditure of Rs 120 crore this year, the chief minister said.

The Restart Meghalaya Mission would also involve the tourism sector on which over 50,000 people are dependent, Sangma said.

According to the chief minister, the state government wants to adopt the high-value low-volume tourism model and intends to increase the number of high value rooms from 200 this year to at least 500 in the next two years.

He said, "We are among the lowest COVID-impacted states in the country in terms of the number of cases.

Currently, with a total of 1,228 cases, we have the lowest number of cases per million population amongst all Indian states and union territories barring Lakshadweep.

" It has been possible due to "consistent, systematic and unwavering efforts of the frontline healthworkers, the community and the government", he said.

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