Thursday, July 8, 2010

World Bank to assist livelihood project in northeast India

The World Bank will provide Rs 5 billion to four north eastern states Mizoram, Nagaland Sikkim and Tripura to create self-employment opportunities for the tribals and poor people living in rural and remote areas. The Bank would provide the assistance for the North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP), starting this financial year (2010-11)."The pilot project of the NERLP would be implemented in two districts each of the four north eastern states aiming to generate livelihood of those people who are yet to get any assistance from any medium or major scheme," Tripura Rural Development and Forest Minister Jitendra Choudhury told reporters in Agartala on Wednesday. The NERLP has four components - social empowerment, economic empowerment, partnership development and management, project management. "NERLP would play a vital role in transforming rural economy, eradicating poverty and providing viable employment opportunities by utilising local and natural resources. It is aimed at socio-economic development of tribals and other backward people," said Choudhury. The Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) ministry in consultation with the Department of Economic Affairs and World Bank has finalised the NERLP. It would be implemented through a society registered at Guwahati. A 25-member team of the Bank and the DoNER ministry is now on a week-long visit to Tripura. Project Director Alok Kumar Srivastava said the NERLP is based on the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) assisted North Eastern Regional Community Resource Management Project (NERCRMP) which has been successfully implemented in two districts each of Meghalaya, Assam and Manipur. IFAD is a specialised agency of the United Nations and its mission is to enable the rural poor to overcome poverty. Choudhury said that 32,000 self-help groups (SHGs) have been formed in Tripura and the state government has been providing Rs.50,000 to these under the Tripura Support Scheme (TSS). The SHGs are producing and marketing more than 250 products.He said the state government has suggested to the visiting officials to involve elected local government bodies, including the tribal autonomous district councils, in the NERLP project.

Ibobi presents Rs 4946 crore budget for Manipur

The brief sitting of the Manipur Assembly commenced on Wednesday under tight security cover. The session will have 16 sittings and will conclude on July 29. The opening day started with the presentation of the Rs 5946 crore budget for the year 2010-11. Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh, also in charge of finance portfolio, on Wednesday presented budget estimates of Rs. 5,946 crore for the year 2010-2011. Singh said the year was expected to close with a deficit of Rs. 282 crore with no new tax proposed in the budget estimates. Of the total amount, Rs. 3027.06 crore was under non-plan category, Rs. 2600 under state plan and Rs. 318.94 crore under centrally sponsored schemes, central plan schemes and north eastern council schemes. The provision in respect of the CSS, CPS and NEC schemes were subject to change, according to actual allocation during the course of the year. The chief minister said that the total revenue expenditure was estimated at Rs. 4049.79 crore while capital expenditure was estimated at Rs. 1896.21 crore. Singh said for 2010-11, the total receipts were estimated at Rs. 5965.24 crore. The revenue receipts were estimated at Rs. 5368.27 crores and capital receipts at Rs. 596.97 crore. He said total estimates of state's own tax and non-tax receipts in the budget estimates were Rs. 288.74 crore and Rs. 456.63 crore respectively. The session of the Manipur Assembly will be having 16 sittings and will adjourn on July 29. During the question hour session on the opening day, MLA N. Mangi Singh drew the attention of PHED minister TN Haokip to the work status of various Water Supply Schemes being taken up in the state. Replying to another query, MLA Radhabinod Koijam asked Works minister N. Ranjit regarding the terms and conditions of the security deposits taken by the works department from a contractor for execution of road construction and the life of the security deposits. The question and answer session was followed by obituary reference for Bhairon Singh Sekhawat, former vice president of India and Paokhothang Haokip, former member of the Manipur territorial Council and Salam Chandra Singh, former member of Manipur legislative Assembly. Apart from heavy deployment of security personnel in the periphery of the Assembly Building to prevent any untoward incident, security in and around Imphal has been tightened in view of the ongoing Assembly Session and state police had already alerted 19 strategic points of Imphal with deployment of more security personnel. On the other hand, among the seven Naga MLAs who tendered their resignation earlier, one Naga MLA W. Keishing of the Phungyar Assembly Constituency took part in the session. The speaker is yet to accept the resignation of the seven Naga MLAs.