Govt to release backlog funds to VDBs

Govt to release backlog funds to VDBs
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Kohima, April 24: The State Government today said it will release the backlog of grand-in-aid to villages from 2014-18.
Addressing the Village Development Board and Village Council conference here at Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) Convention Hall, Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio said the Government will release the backlog grand-in-aid to all 1238 VDBs and funds to the communitized departments like School Education, Health, PHED and Power. Also matching cash grants and micro finance grants, uncentives to performing VDBS will be released.
VDBs are involved in the phases of developmental activities and their responsibility includes all aspects from the receipt of allocation of funds, selection of beneficiaries of schemes, monitoring of progress of work and expenditure and ensure completion of schemes. Funds are also made available in the form of grants to all the VDBs, with allocation being made on the basis of number of household of every village in proportion to the size of each village to ensure that each citizen of the State is equally involved and provided for all in all the rural development activities.
The conference is being held coinciding with the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan organised by the Rural Development Department.
The Chief Minister said VDBs have been functioning for almost four decades and are regarded as a role model for local self Government and community participation across the country. He said institution of VDB is a 1238 strong organization looking into the mandate of village development and the 74 Blocks strong network has contributed immensely to the development of the villages across the State.
Rio asked the participants to introspect into the past and plan the strategies for future to improve and transform the quality of life for the rural people. He also congratulated all the stakeholders including the policy makers, the VDBs, village councils, RD department officials for their contribution and hard work and also Government of India for generously funding all village level developmental activities.
Rio expressed happiness that Pete Village Level Organisation (VLO) of Jakhama Block has been selected out of 2,30,158 VLOs in the country for the Ten Best Performing VLOs under NRLM National Award which, he said, is a big achievement and encouragement to others under various flagship programmes in the State. Rio said fund under MGNREGS can change the rural landscape of the villages if funds are leveraged, implemented and used judiciously.
The Chief Minister said Block Development Officers are the cutting edge and backbone of the MGNREGS and asked them to be committed to their service and timely and quality of implementation of the schemes and projects. He said the objective of the grant is intended to be used in rural areas to support and strengthen the delivery of basic civil services including water supply, sanitation, septic management, sewage & solid waste management, storm water drainage, maintenance of community assets, maintenance of roads, footpaths, street lighting etc.
Rio said his party went to the polls with a promise for an elaborate and new development plan and reiterated his party’s commitment that every possible effort will be taken to bring about a change.
He said the State Government’s top agenda is to play the role of active facilitator to the ongoing peace process and the political negotiation so that honourable and acceptable solution could be hammered out.. He asked all sections of society to create a conducive atmosphere for the peace process and rise above differences and come together for the common good of the Naga people. “The need of the hour is for the Naga society to come together under a spirit of unity and reconciliation both amongst the undergrounds and the over grounds,” he added.
Meanwhile the Chief Minister announced that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, Nerendra Modi has given its approval for new restructured scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) with a total outlay of Rs. 7255.50 crore to be implemented from April 1. “The scheme shall be extended to all States and Kiphire was identified as the aspirational District by NITI AAYOG out of 115 districts in India which will focus on sectorial interventions to be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals,” Rio said.
Rio said technology will improve the quality of implementation of the schemes and projects with ultimate benefits trickling down to the villagers and reduce spillage at various levels. He said to adapt to the rapid ever changing facets of development and also to be prepared for the challenges ahead.
The Chief Minister asked the stakeholders to renew and re-dedicate to the ideals of social harmony and strengthen the objectives of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan or the Village Self Governance Campaign.
Advisor, Rural Development, Dr. Neikiesalie Nicky Kire, in his keynote address, said the actual concept of rural development began to take shape during the 7th Plan period and in 1980-81 the idea of grass root level planning and development became a reality following with the enactment of “The Nagaland Village and Area Council Act 1978” and the constitution of the Village Development Boards (VDBs) in all the recognized villages of the State.
The origin of the institution of the VDB was first setup in December 1976 at Ketsapomi Village in Phek District and on the success of the Ketsapomi VDB, a mass campaign was launched in 1980 to expand the coverage of this unique institution throughout the State and with the enactment of VDB Model Rules, 1980.
Nicky said keeping in view the importance of Gender Budgeting, the Department has provisioned for setting aside 25% of total funds available for every village already in-built for women’s scheme under grant-in-aid to VDB. Also in implementation of MGNREGA at least 40% of women workers are being engaged in all the villages.
The Advisor said Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) scheme where the Department aims to implement the programme through the VDBs by providing durable shelter in the rural areas. Under convergence, the beneficiary can avail wage of 95 mandays from MGNREGA for construction of house, he added.
He said VDBs is in the process of credit related micro-financial intermediaries, which will have a direct bearing on the income generating capabilities of the villagers as credit, which would now be locally and readily available for development activities in the rural areas to improve the rural economy.
“Department has proposed to enhance the activity for providing permanent shelter to the rural poor, replacing the existing traditional houses with the objective to improve the living standard of the rural people and better health,” Nicky said. He also said to enhance the efficiency of the village level functionaries in their developmental activities and to achieve overall improvement on performance and accountability on the resources available, and to increase its effort in the area of capacity building of all village level functionaries and officials of the Department to achieve optimum use of social and financial resources available to the villagers.
Hundreds of people are attended the conference with high hope from the new Government which has promised of a “change” in the rural areas. (Page News Service)