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State lags behind in rural schemes

By Kalyan Barooah

NEW DELHI, July 16 � Assam, along with other northeastern States, have slipped in implementation of majority of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development. This has emerged during the review of the performance of its flagship programmes by the Ministry on Friday.

The Ministry of Rural Development has convened a two-day meeting of the Performance Review Committee here at the ICAR Conference hall.

Ahead of the 2011 Assembly polls, the State�s performance in key flagship programmes is unlikely to bring any cheer to Tarun Gogoi Government, if its performance report card is any indication.

Under the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA programme, in Assam 22,392 works were taken up, out of which only 9,403 works were completed marking a completion rate of 42 per cent, as against the national average of 45.5 per cent. Meghalaya is the only State in the North-east to have fared well with a completion rate of 62.8 per cent.

Tripura surprisingly has fared worst among the States of the region with a completion rate of only 14.8 per cent.

Assam has so far not paid anything by way of unemployment allowance. The State is due to pay for 13,831 persondays.

According to the performance review report of MGNREGA, Assam has provided employment to 0.61 lakh house holds (HHs), while Tripura has provided employment to 1.41 lakh HHs. Nationwide 1 crore HHs have been provided employment under this flagship programme.

Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur did not submit any report on implementation of the scheme.

Meanwhile, major violation in distribution of wage material ratio to the tune of 53 per cent, highest in the country, has been reported from Dibrugarh district. The only other district from North-east to have recorded such high violation is Chandel district (50 per cent) of Manipur.

Assam has also not done well in disposing off general complaints. While a total of 26 complaints were registered, the State managed to dispose off only eight, while five complaints were pending for at least seven-eight years.

Assam has also slipped in implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Assam, Bihar, J&K, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Sikkim and West Bengal could not achieve the targeted road length during 2009-2010. The States are required to accelerate the pace of implementation, the report suggested.

Under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), as against the national average of 83.52 per cent, Assam�s physical performance was recorded at 75.34 per cent during the last fiscal. Other northeastern States, whose performance was below the national average included Manipur (25.3), Meghalaya (60), Arunachal Pradesh (55.42) and Tripura (32.29) percentages.

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