SHILLONG, June 17: The Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma today spoke at length on different dimensions to take the State forward in the growth trajectory in core sectors including health and agriculture at the 4th meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in New Delhi.
The meeting was also attended by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other Central Ministers and Chief Ministers and included senior officials of NITI Aayog and those from different Central Ministries and State Governments.
Conrad pitched for promoting different agricultural products of Meghalaya and mentioned on the ambitious project of Lakadong turmeric, apiculture mission and on the strategies adopted by the State to mitigate climate change with lifestyle changes.
He said that Meghalaya has initiated a campaign for recycle, reuse and reduce apart from sensitizing the masses to have ownership of a tree under the campaign, “One Citizen, One Tree”.
He informed the gathering on the need to enhance Act East Policy for boosting trade and commerce in the North-eastern States.
Talking about agriculture, the Chief Minister informed that Meghalaya has done well in distribution of soil health cards (2015-17) and has been able to distribute 2,13,548 soil health cards out of the target of 2,09,561, thereby having an achievement of 101.90 percent.
He informed that three static soil testing laboratories, three mobile soil-testing units and two more static soil- testing laboratories have been proposed to Government of India.
The Chief Minister informed that the State has more than 125 rural/agricultural haats and these markets lack basic infrastructures such as fencing, proper market stalls, approach roads, godowns, cold storage facilities, parking spaces and garbage disposal system.
“The state government has leveraged various funds both from the Centre and the state schemes to improve the market infrastructure like construction of integrated farmers market, lay-by markets along national highways and four farmers markets across the state,” he said.
He also informed that the state government has taken steps to promote Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) and under the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Easter Region (MOVCDNER) launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the state has been able to establish 12 Farmer Producers Companies (FPCs) covering 6000 hectares in 125 villages.
The Chief Minister informed that the state government has taken measures to ensure that works taken up under MGNREGA by the Village Employment Councils (VECs) are focused on water related activities.
During 2017-18 an amount of Rs 1134 crore was spent out of which Rs 540 crore was spent on water related activities. During 2018-19, an amount of Rs 1200 crore has been earmarked out of which Rs 720 crore will be spent on water conservation related activities, the CM said.
He told that under the Ayushmann Bharat program, the State has approved for strengthening of 32 number of Health Sub-Centers as the Health & Wellness Centers. In Ri-Bhoi district, which is an Aspirational district, 2 PHCs namely Umden PHC and Mawhati PHC are being converted to Health and Wellness Centres.
He said that to implement the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM) the state has decided to opt for the Insurance Mode instead of the Trust mode.
“The Mission Indradhanush is being implemented in all the districts of Meghalaya and the overall saturation till date for vaccination of children is 83.66%. As far as the aspirational district of Ri Bhoi is concerned, the vaccination of children stands 89%. … The State Government is preparing the Vision Document and the District Action Plan along with the District Indicators for Ri Bhoi District covering the critical social sectors already identified by the NITI Aayog,” he added.