Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister said that the state government has approached the Union Government to extend jurisdiction of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to all the districts in the State so that the poor and deserving were benefited under its employment provisions. He was presiding over the First Meeting of the Himachal Pradesh State Employment Guarantee Council which met here today under his Chairmanship. He said that the scheme was under implementation in two of the twelve districts, Chamba and Sirmour and three more Shimla, Kangra and Mandi districts have been proposed for inclusion under the scheme during coming year by the state government.
Chief Minister said that the state government was considering empowering the panchayat sahayaks functioning in the panchayats of districts Chamba and Sirmaur, where panchayat secretaries were not posted, with powers of signing the documents relating to the implementation of the provisions of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme after imparting them necessary training at the block level, so that the pace of work was not hampered. He said that his government would also consider extending the touring period of the junior engineers assigned the responsibility of evaluation of the construction projects in both the districts to give momentum for the pace of development in those areas. He said that efforts were also afoot to post computer literate people at the block level to feed the data of the progress in those blocks for onward transmission to the Government of India.
He said that the state government had spent Rs. 19.21 crore in Sirmour and Chamba districts during last one year, issued job cards to 91,507 persons, registering them for eligibility for employment under the scheme. He said that the scheme was of immense benefit to the rural people and aimed at poverty alleviation, which had been the policy of the Congress Government right from the beginning. He said that the state had majority of its rural population dependent upon agriculture and the scheme was of immense benefit during their lean agriculture period.
Chief Minister advised the local MLAs and public representatives to extend their support and cooperation besides monitoring the progress for ensuring quality construction of the projects. He said that the funds of the scheme were being utilized on creation of permanent infrastructure in the villages which could be beneficial for long term to the villagers and every penny utilized for the public welfare as aimed at under the programme. He directed the authorities to ensure that the provisions of the programme were implemented by the executing agencies in letter and spirit and benefits delivered to the targeted group.
Press note via Himachal I&PR Dept.