GUWAHATI, March 17: The first general body meeting of the Assam State Rural Livelihoods Mission Society (ASRLMS) was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati today.
ASRLMS will be implementing the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), the redesigned and restructured programme of Swarnajayanti Gram Swaroajgar Yojana (SGSY) to bring rural BPL families out of abject poverty through gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, stated a press release. As per the Tendulkar Committee Report, the Poverty Headcount Ratio in Assam is 34.4 per cent with rural poverty being 36.4 per cent and urban poverty 21.8 per cent. The total BPL households as per BPL survey 2002 is 18,72,809.
During the meeting, the implementation of the flagship programme of Government of India in 42 intensive blocks and 177 non-intensive blocks in the State at a cost of Rs 24,199.278 lakh for 2012-13 was discussed. The Central Government has given additional 20 blocks to Assam because of its better performance in poverty alleviation programme.
The meeting discussed the State Perspective Plan as well as the Annual Action Plan and preparation of manuals on human resource, finance and procurement. Joint Secretary, Rural Development, Government of India, T Vijay Kumar, called for recruitment of qualified and experienced persons who can deliver the goods to the rural poor. Echoing his views, Chief Minister Gogoi said he would take the personal initiative in roping in the best talents for successful implementation of the programme.
Kumar also called for focused attention on building grassroots capacity to make the poor people manage their own affairs. “Our role is that of facilitators and the driving force behind the success of the programme will be the rural poor, especially women and youth. Poor have a strong desire to come out of poverty and have innate capabilities to realize the same. Social mobilization and building strong institutions of the poor are critical for unleashing their innate capabilities. Towards this end, we must work towards building up the human resources to the optimum level to get the desired results,” said Kumar.
Commissioner and Secretary, Panchayat and Rural Development, Archana Verma said that to bring each poor family out of exacting poverty in 6-8 years with an annual income of Rs 50,000 per annum the prime importance was to provide them access to credit, marketing and other livelihoods services to facilitate their upward mobility. Verma said the State has been initially demarcated into seven zones on the basis of socio-economic, agro climatic, cultural and historic factors as per NRLM framework. From each zone one district is selected.
Verma also stated that World Bank had included Assam as World Bank-assisted State under NRLM. Assam is the 13th State in the country to have been assisted by World Bank. The World Bank will support the NRLM with a credit of $ 1 billion.