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Experts to aid babus implement schemes

Realising poverty alleviation programme is too complex an issue to be left just to the babus, the Centre has now asked the state governments to appoint experts on contractual basis to implement the proposed National Rural Livelihood Mission. Soumyajit Pattnaik reports.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2009 22:55 IST
Soumyajit Pattnaik

Realising poverty alleviation programme is too complex an issue to be left just to the babus, the Centre has now asked the state governments to appoint experts on contractual basis to implement the proposed National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).

The Centre is also exploring the possibility of “outsourcing” the work of the NRLM at block level to NGOs “with good track record”.

The features of the NRLM will be finalised on September 9 at a conference of rural development ministers of all states in New Delhi, which will be addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The NRLM will facilitate effective implementation of the restructured Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) scheme (a self-employment scheme) in a mission mode.

The importance of SGSY can be gauged from the fact that in the 11th Plan period (2007-12), Rs 17,803 crore has been allocated for it, of which Rs 6,400 crore has been allocated for 2009-10 and Rs 11,403 crore is remaining as balance.

The Centre has circulated “draft background material” on the livelihood mission among the states.
At the national level, it will have a governing council with the union rural development minister as the chairman.

There will also be a state-level mission with the chief minister as the chairperson of the governing body.

“The state management team will be assisted by highly competent technical experts to be appointed on contractual basis with specific terms of reference, for the implementation of the Mission, restructured SGSY and other poverty alleviation programmes,” the draft states.

“The state team will include experts in the areas of social mobilisation, institution building, capacity building and training, micro finance development, marketing and micro enterprises like forest produce based livelihoods, fisheries based livelihoods, value chain analysis, skill development and placement support, gender aspects of poverty, communication, monitoring and evaluation.”

Contractual appointments will also be made in the districts.

The draft goes on to say, “The district unit will be headed by the Programme Director, District Rural Development Agency.

“The District Programme Director will be assisted by a team of functional specialists in the fields of social mobilisation, institution and capacity building, micro finance, livelihoods/ micro enterprises/marketing, gender, information, education and communication (IEC) etc., in addition to administration and finance.

“The functional specialists will be appointed on contractual basis and will undertake activities in the respective fields under the proximate leadership of District Programme Director.”