Bhubaneswar, Nov 30: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday expressed concern over districts not matching up to the needs of the rural masses for the employment guarantee scheme in a drought year and told the officers that any laxity in attaining the targets would “not be tolerated”.
“It is a matter of great concern that in this financial year many potential districts are lagging behind in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). I would like the officers of these districts to put in their best efforts to improve their performance,” said Patnaik at a meeting of the officials of DRDAs (district rural development agencies) here.
The targets, in terms of mandays and expenditure, would have to be achieved without fail, he said.
“Under achievement will not be tolerated.”
On an average 17 lakh rural households in Odisha seek employment under MGNREGS, annually.
“There is a drought like situation prevailing in our state and we see immense potential in MGNREGS for providing succour to the rural masses in distress,” said the chief minister.
The state government had already announced an additional 50 days of entitlement for job card holders in drought affected areas, along with 30 percent extra wages which will be defrayed by the state, he said
The government would offer financial incentives in MGNREGS performance and honour the top three districts.
Patnaik emphasized taking up drought-proofing projects under Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana, which has been extended to all 30 districts of the state.
The government was committed to providing regular houses to all families currently living in makeshift dwellings within four years with a target of completing seven lakh houses in the current year.
About four lakh houses had so far been constructed, he said and directed the officials to ensure completion of at least 75,000 houses per month over the next four months.
The chief minister launched ‘Ama Gaon Ama Jojana’, a new initiative in the Gram Panchayat development plan. He also released Biju Pucca Ghar guidelines and presented awards to best performing districts and blocks. (IANS)