Govt has decided to take up plantation activities in convergence with MGNREGS funds. This has been clarified to all Collectors through a video conference taken by Chief Secretary Sri Gokul Chandra Pati in secretariat conference hall recently. Chief Secretary has asked the Collectors to monitor the plantation activities regularly.
The DFOs and Deputy Directors of Horticulture have been asked to bring all the issues to the notice of respective collectors. The collectors have also been asked to conduct district environment meetings regularly. Chief Secretary Sri Pati said that since rainy season is drawing near the land for plantation, seedlings and nurseries etc be kept in all readiness for planting activities. The collectors have also been directed to involve village committees in all plantation activities. Development Commissioner Sri U.N. Behera, adding to it said that district wise convergence plan for plantation during 2015-16 has been drawn up and sent to the collectors.
Secretary Panchayati Raj Sri D.K. Singh present in the Video Conference said that the wage costs for plantation activities can be done with MGNREGS funds and the cost of the materials be met from departmental funds. However, Sri Singh has clarified that wherever departmental fund is not available, both the costs can be met from MGNREGS funds maintaining the prescribed ratio of labour component at district level.
Collectors have also been asked to take up horticultural activities in convergence with MGNREGS funds Chief Secretary Sri Pati has asked the Horticulture Officers to ensure supply of those seedlings which can yield more fruiting. However, Collectors have been asked not to take up banana plantation under the scheme. Secretary, Panchayati Raj has clarified that banana is treated as a crop, and as such, is not permissible under MGNREGS funds.