Shillong, June 23: Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma on Friday asked functionaries of the Village Employment Councils (VECs) to make all efforts to achieve 100 days guaranteed wages and supplement it with innovative and convergence efforts by taking advantage of the fund available for material component.
The Chief Minister made this appeal while inaugurating a conference for VECs under MGNREGA at the convocation hall of North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong in the presence of Minister for Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, H.D.R. Lyngdoh and NEHU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Henry Lamin.
In his inaugural address, Sangma congratulated the VEC functionaries for their committed service since the inception of MGNREGA in the state in 2006.
“The MGNREGA represents our Constitutional framework, because it enshrines democratic rights of the citizens in rural areas providing social security to the people,” he said.
Stating that the 60:40 ratio of the wage and material component under MGNREGA has been an issue which poses difficulties to VECs which have limited choice in their plans to create durable assets, Sangma said that since 2016-2017, the State government had earmarked Rs 5 lakh for each rural constituencies under CMSRDF to utilize it in convergence with MGNREGS so that durable assets can be created.
He also said that when release of funds got delayed from the Central government, the state government had arranged a corpus fund of Rs 37 crore under the State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF) to manage shortage of wage payments which is being revolved every year.
He also informed that Delayed Payment Compensation Rules was mandated under the Act and the department was notifying this now so that workers will get their dues. The government has also started transferring payments digitally to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries and urged all VEC functionaries to open bank accounts so that the benefits can be transferred to the respective accounts.
The Chief Minister also urged VEC functionaries to make all efforts to achieve the 100 days guaranteed wages and supplement it with innovative and convergence efforts taking advantage of the fund available for material component.
“It is the responsibility of both the government and the VECs to infuse a sense of enthusiasm and commitment, and shoulder the objective as a shared agenda.
He also informed that the state government has introduced many Missions under IBDLP to provide livelihood opportunities which would be converged with MGNREGS.
At present there are more than 6262 VECs in the state.
The conference was attended by VEC functionaries from six districts of Khasi and Jaintia Hills and from 24 C&RD Blocks. Senior officers from various line departments were also present.
A similar conference of VECs would be also held in Garo Hills soon.
Awards for Best Performing and Innovative VECs in Khasi and Jaintia Hills were also distributed by the Chief Minister, besides awards for Best Fair Price Shop and Wholesale dealers in the region.