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‘Earmark lean period to implement job plan’

The committee will be earmarking of lean periods during which NREGA work can be carried out without disturbing normal agricultural activities, reports Aurangzeb Naqshbandi.
By Aurangzeb Naqshbandi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2008 01:18 AM IST

Members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Rural Development Ministry have called for earmarking of lean periods during which NREGA work can be carried out without disturbing normal agricultural activities.

They have also said that loan targets of rural banks should be fully achieved and procedural difficulties in obtaining loans should be eased out.

Panel members have also called for region-specific implementation of centrally sponsored schemes, carrying out a study on tribal migration, stringent monitoring of working of NGOs and carrying out of impact assessments of training imparted to rural development officials at the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) in Hyderabad.

These recommendations were made at a meeting at NIRD. It was presided over by Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and also reviewed the research, training and consultancy performance of the NIRD. The panel felt that the institute was playing a significant role in building the capacities of functionaries associated with rural development.

Members raised various points to further enhance the NIRD’s participation in successful implementation of the ministry’s flagship programmes.

Meanwhile, the ministry has also introduced the Rozgar Jagrookta Puraskar to recognise the contribution of civil society organisations (CSOs) in promoting implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in various states.

The award would be given for outstanding performance in promoting people's participation, transparency, social auditing, monitoring and evaluation at the panchayat, block and district levels.

The criteria for selecting the awardees would be generating awareness in rural areas about the provisions of the Act, particularly the statutory rights of workers and enabling them to access their legal rights and empower them to benefit from the scheme.

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