Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday asked district collectors to be innovative while implementing different welfare schemes including the public delivery system.

“I will urge upon you not only to do routine works, but also innovate to improve services,” Mr. Patnaik said while inagurating the two-day district collectors conference here.

Stating that the collectors were placed at the right place to provide service directly to the people, the Chief Minister said they could change life of the vulnerable section of society through different schemes and programmes.

“Collectors can reach out to maximum number of people and they can involve masses in schemes and programmes in order to make them successful,” Mr. Patnaik said asking the district collectors to take up service to people in mission mode.

The State government, Mr. Patnaik said, had always encouraged dynamism in young officers. “I will request you to adopt pro-people attitude,” he told the collectors.

Stressing on transparent implementation of MGNREGA in rural areas, the State government asked the collectors to enhance capacity so that more developmental works could be done besides providing jobs to poor villagers.

“We have asked the collectors to expand their spending capacity under MGNREGA up to Rs 2,000 crore per annum,” said Chief Secretary B K Patnaik. The State government’s present spending capacity remained within Rs 800 crore per annum.

The collectors were told how effectively they could spend funds under the rural job scheme so that more and more poor people could get benefits.

“Collectors are told how to ensure survival of standing crop in 99 blocks of 16 districts where drought like situation prevailed due to inadequate rainfall,” said Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro.

The district authorities were also asked to assist farmers to start rabi crop as they suffered during the ongoing kharif cultivation due to scanty rainfall, Mr. Patro said.

Besides, the collectors had been instructed to ensure that the people being given land under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), get their land documents and other relevant papers, the Chief Secretary said.