Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Kapil Moheshwar Patil on Wednesday visited Shillong and reviewed the schemes and programmes of his ministry being implemented by the Government of Meghalaya.
The Minister reviewed MGNREGA, PMAY-G, NRLM, RGSA and other flagship programmes of the Government. Minister of Community & Rural Development, Govt of Meghalaya, Shri Hamletson Dohling and Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Chief Executive Member, Shri Titosstarwell Chynewas were also present during the meeting.
The minister expressed his satisfaction over the proper implementation of schemes even without the presence of formal Gram Panchayats. The minister exclaimed, ‘I was very excited to learn how without the presence of formal Gram Panchayats and through traditional village institution every member of a household in a village in Meghalaya are contributing in implementing central and state government schemes”. Speaking about the effective management of the institutions, the minister said, “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 have been utilised under MGNREGA in a small state like Meghalaya”.
Principal Secretary to Government of Meghalaya, Shri Sampath Kumar in the meeting took mention of the government of India’s recently released survey report titled ‘Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households and Land and Holdings of Households in Rural India, 2019’. As per this report, in 2018-19, an average farmer household in Meghalaya earned about Rs 29,348 per month whereas a Punjab farmer’s household earned about Rs 26,701. The minister expressed his satisfaction over this achievement and said that the people of Meghalaya have utilised the schemes of the government very effectively and have clubbed benefit of the schemes like MGNREGA and NRLM to reap the maximum benefit.
Shri 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 lands are generally scattered, the minister appealed the state government to devise policy to provide property card 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.
The Minister also spoke in length about the 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 Panchayats. The minister said that 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 institution in respect of receipt of funds so that these traditional institution 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 Shri Giriraj Singh, so that villages in the 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.