Neiphiu is all set for the transformation of the rural areas

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on 26th April challenged the Village Development Boards (VDBs) and the Village Councils to ensure quality works, create assets and basic amenities for proper development and economic transformation of all villages in the state.

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The VDBs in Nagaland have been functioning for almost four decades and are regarded as role models for local self government and community participation across the country, the CM said speaking at the state level conference of Nagaland VDBs & Village Councils organized by Department of Rural Development and coinciding with Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan here at NBCC Convention Centre.

The institution of VDB is a 1238 strong organization looking into the mandate of village development and the 74 blocks strong network has contributed immensely to the development of the villages across the state, he pointed out.
He also urged all the participants to introspect into the past and plan the strategies for future to improve and transform the quality of life for the rural people.

Rio lauded the selection of Village Level Organisation (VLO) of Jakhama Block among the Ten Best Performing VLOs under NRLM National Award out of 2,30,158 VLOs in the country as a big achievement and encouragement to others under various flagship programs.
He also announced that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Government of India chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for new restructured scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan (RGSA) with a total outlay of Rs. 7255.50 crore to be implemented from April 1, 2018. The scheme shall be extended to all states.

Kiphire was identified as an aspirational District by NITI AAYOG out of 115 districts in India which will focus on sectorial interventions to be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, he added.

He said that the huge fund under MGNREGS can change the rural landscape of the villages if funds are leveraged, implemented and used judiciously. Rio also stated that technology will improve the quality of implementation of the schemes/projects with ultimate benefits trickling down to the villagers and reduce spillage at various levels.
To adapt to the rapid and ever changing facets of development and also to be prepared for the challenges ahead, he said that is a need to quickly migrate into the national system of implementation.

Stating that the Block Development Officers are the cutting edge and backbone of the MGNREGS, he challenged them to be committed to their service and ensure timely and quality implementation of schemes and projects.

Informing that the State Government was unable to provide the Grant- in- Aid for the year 2014 to 2018, the CM stated that the government will be releasing all the backlog funds of three (3) years to all the 1238 VDBs, Matching Cash Grants and Micro Finance Grants, Incentives to performing VDBs and also funds to the communitised departments of School Education, Power, Health and PHED.
Rural Development Advisor Dr. Neikiesalie (Nicky) Kire said that the origin of the institution of the VDB was first set up in December 1976 at Kütsapo village in Phek district and its success led to a mass campaign in 1980 to expand the its coverage throughout the state with the enactment of VDB Model Rules, 1980.

He apprised that, keeping in view the importance of Gender Budgeting, the Department has provisioned for setting aside 25% of total funds available for every village already in-built for Women’s scheme under Grant-in-Aid to VDB. In addition, in implementation of MGNREGA at least 40% of women workers are being engaged in all the villages.

He said that VDBs is in the process of credit related micro- financial intermediaries, which will have a direct bearing on the income generating capabilities of the villagers as credit and improvement the rural economy. Dr. Kire said that the rural development department has proposed to enhance the activity for providing permanent shelter to the rural poor, replacing the existing traditional houses with the objective to improve the living standard of the rural people and better health.

The programme was chaired by Lhoubeilatuo Kire, IFS, Principal Secretary for Rural Development, while Nagaland VDB Association President Thoshe Awomi also shared greetings. RD Director Imlimeren Jamir proposed

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