Shillong, March 5: Despite the economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Meghalaya government has generated 254.2 lakh man-days by the end of December 2020 in the current fiscal under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
Meghalaya is among the top three states in the country in terms of the implementation of the rural job scheme, Governor Satya Pal Malik said, while addressing the Assembly on the first day of the Budget Session on Friday.
"A total of 254.2 lakh person-days was achieved till December 2020, out of an approved budget for 393 lakh person days under the MGNREGA.
"Meghalaya is among the top three states in the country in terms of the implementation of the MGNREGA. Expenditure under this programme is expected to touch Rs 1,600 crore this year, providing a direct annual income of Rs 17,000
to all rural households in the state," Malik said.
He also said the delay in payment of wages has been reduced significantly with the use of the Electronic Fund Management System.
Twenty community and rural development blocks have achieved 100 per cent direct transfer of wages so far.
The governor said the state government is focused on improving the delivery of health and educational services and promoting enterprises through interventions in the agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry sectors.
Malik also mentioned the government is committed to strengthen the infrastructure of roads, bridges, power and supplying of drinking water.
"It is our constitutional mandate to make collective efforts and strive towards socio-economic development and progress in all spheres," the governor said in his 58-minute speech.
The government has started a COVID-19 vaccination drive for health and frontline workers, notwithstanding the connectivity and supply chain issues in Meghalaya and is prepared to ramp up the inoculation process for all the residents of the northeastern state, he said.
According to him, the state government has taken note if the banking access problem which has become prominent since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.
A programme has been launched to bring more villages under the banking network and reduce the proportion of unbanked areas from 45 per cent to less than 10 per cent, the governor said.
Announcing a programme for the protection of environment from coal mining in the state, he said the Central Institute of Mining and Research, Dhanbad is developing a technology to tackle the acid mine drainage problem.
A pilot project to treat effluent generated from coal mines by using locally available limestone has been completed, while another initiative is under implementation for restoration of streams affected by acidic water in the East Jaintia Hills district.
The governor said 7,241 people have been benefited from the fishery department's step to develop ponds for fishing activities.
"During the lockdown period, about 710 MT of local fish were sold for around Rs 21 crore. An amount of Rs 11.4 crore has been earmarked under the Pradhan Mantri Matasya Sampada Yojana for 2021-22 fiscal," Malik said.
According to the government data, over 86,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the Kisan Credit Card loan with an interest subvention of two per cent.
"Additionally, 1.72 lakh households had been registered under the PM Kisan income group support scheme," he said.
The state government has decided to meet the completion target of the functional household tap connection by December 2022, he added. - PTI