While a debate is raging over the conditions agreed upon by the government and the Kudumbasree Protection Council for withdrawing the agitation of Kudumbasree volunteers before the Secretariat, the pact signed by them reveals that the government had given a firm assurance that Kudumabsree will continue to be the nodal agency for implementing the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) in the State.
In the seven-point pact signed by Social Welfare Minister M.K. Muneer and council leaders following talks for resolving the eight-day strike, the government had categorically stated that “as per the project document approved by the Central government, Kudumbasree Mission will be the nodal agency for the National Rural Livelihood Mission in Kerala”.
It does not speak of any move to review the decision in future.
The agreement says that linkage loans will be given to Kudumbasree neighbourhood groups at concessional rates.
“The government has decided to give loans to the neighbourhood groups at 5 to 7 per cent interest rate. This will be implemented soon. This will be linked to the interest subsidy scheme of the NRLM and the government will strive hard to reduce the interest rate to 4 per cent,” it says.
The government has taken over the repayment of Bhavansree loans worth Rs.12.16 crore, which the neighbourhood groups had availed themselves of from cooperative banks. After scrutinising and confirming that they conform to the norms, the scheme will be implemented soon.
Sufficient funds have been provided to the Kudumbasree Mission and more funds will be given if needed, the agreement says.
Threat of debt trap
Considering the dangers fraught in Kudumbasree volunteers availing themselves of multiple loans, the government promises that it will take steps to avert such a situation. The pact warns that it will lead the volunteers into a debt trap and also grave financial liability.
The government had framed a set of norms for selecting mates for implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The agreement says that the government has conceded the council’s demand to include area development society members also in the selection of mates.
It has been specified that as per the norms, the list of mates will be prepared and published in advance and they will be decided on a rotation basis.
Regarding the demand to repeal the allocation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) funds to the Janasree Mission, the agreement says that the State government will abide by the decision of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
If the council has any complaint in this score, it can be taken up directly with Mr.Pawar.
Other than Mr.Muneer, the signatories to the agreement are council chairperson P.K. Sreemathy, general convener T.N.Seema, MP, and patron K.K. Shylaja.
Pact with council reveals nodal role in NRLM Seven-point pact signed after eight-day strike
Pact with council reveals nodal role in NRLM
Seven-point pact signed after eight-day strike