President wants 70 percent rural people taken on board development

Monday, 28 January 2008, 08:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: India's President Pratibha Patil has asked the nation to take on board 70 percent of its people living in rural areas in its march towards progress to make it meaningful.

She underlined the need to accelerate India's pace of development process to match up with the rapidly developing world and needs.

Patil was addressing a two-day national conference of the Project Directors of District Rural Development Agencies(DRDA) organized here by the union Rural Development Ministry.

The President was confident that if the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's novel National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) was implemented in letter and spirit, it would bring about a revolution in rural areas, leading not only to immediate wage-employment generation but, n the long run, also to the rejuvenation of land, water bodies and bio-diversity.

She called for sincere and prompt efforts to implement employment generation schemes in the rural areas and exhorted the implementing agencies to plan and monitor the schemes so as to realize the objective of rural development.

Patil referred to the various ongoing schemes of the rural development ministry - namely, the Bharat Nirman, Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY, the swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) - and emphasized how these can benefit the rural poor and cause allround development in rural areas.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia called for better convergence at district level between various stakeholders, departments and ministries so that the funds provided for developmental schemes are utilized in a proper, systematic and transparent way and there is no overlapping of any kind..

Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, hosting the two-day conference, stated that combined with the NREGS, the SGSY has the potential to wipe out unemployment from rural India.

"In view of this, the ministry proposes to bring at least one member from each BPL family under the ambit of SHG movement by the end of 11th Plan period," Singh said.

This conference will have presentations on NREGS and SGRY, SGSY, IAY and DRDA administration. The issues related to monitoring and evaluation of schemes, area development programmes, drinking water supply and total sanitation campaign and measures related with HIV prevention and control in rural areas will also figure in the presentation process.
Source: IANS
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