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“Lack of awareness of rural job scheme being politicised”

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K. Venkatapathy
K. Venkatapathy

Special Correspondent

Minister for measures to inform people about benefits

VILLUPURAM: Lack of awareness of the benefits of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme among villagers is the cause for activities such as road blockades. Such a situation is being politicised, said K.Venkatapathi, Union Minister of State for Law.

After attending an awareness and vigilance committee meeting held at the Collectorate here on Thursday, Mr. Venkatapathi said such a job guarantee scheme was not implemented in any part of the world. It ensured jobs to the villagers for 100 days a year with a daily wage of Rs. 80, without gender discrimination.

In the first phase, the scheme was implemented in 200 districts across the country, including six districts of Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Dindigul, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Sivaganga. During 2007-08, the scheme was extended to four more districts in Tamil Nadu and in the current financial year, 2008-09, all districts in the State were covered.

As regards Villupuram district, 2,500 works had been taken up in the last six months with an allocation of Rs. 50,803 lakh. A total number of 4,48,360 families were registered under the scheme and job cards distributed to them.

A total of 2,74,129 families out of them had been provided jobs and 18,489 families had completed the 100-day work. However, the message had not percolated to the grassroots-level and this was being exploited for political reasons. Mr. Venkatapathi called upon the elected representatives and officials of the local bodies to take all measures to inform the people about the benefits and the assets to be created under the scheme.

Under the Golden Jubilee Rural Self-Employment Scheme, Rs. 3,934 lakh had been given as revolving funds to 17,850 self-help groups and loan-with-subsidy amounting to Rs. 6,401 lakh disbursed to 1,924 SHGs in Villupuram district.

Under the Indira Awaz Yojana, Rs. 1,571 lakh had been sanctioned for the construction of 2,857 habitations. Mr. Venkatapathi said the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana would soon undergo a name-change and be implemented through the District Rural Development Agency in Villupuram.

Under the scheme, Rs. 15 crore would be allotted every year, during the scheme period, for taking up various development works. In Tindivanam and Villupuram, water projects worth Rs. 385 lakh and Rs. 647 lakh respective had been taken up, he said.

Collector R.Palanisamy, MP K.Dhanraj, MLA V.A.T.Kalivardhan, and Project Officer (DRDA) A. Mahendran participated.

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