Union Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, and Drinking Water & Sanitation, Narendra Singh Tomar today said that the government is working on a proposal to provide additional Rs 42,000 crore of bank credit to Self Help Groups (SHGs) for the empowerment of women in the rural areas.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi today, he said more than Rs 93,000 crore of credit was already mobilized by the banks this year for nearly 30 lakh SHGs working in the country having an enrolment of nearly 3 crore rural women.
Tomar said that Rural Development and Swachh Bharat Mission are the key focus areas of the Government that is well reflected in the enhanced allocation of resources in the General Budget 2017. He claimed that transparency and speedy execution of works are the new mantras of the NDA government, where through a multi-layered monitoring mechanism including space technology, results are achieved in a time-bound manner.
Referring to MGNREGA, he said that Rs 48,000 Crore has been allocated for the rural job scheme, which is the highest ever allocation and due to renewed focus on the scheme and demand for more work, additional resources will be mobilized in the near future.
On the issue of rural housing, the Minister said that by December this year about 44 lakh houses would be built under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, PMAY. He said, in the current financial year, on November 20, 2016, the Prime Minister formally launched Pradhan Mantri AwaasYojana (Gramin) – PMAY (G), with an original approval for 33 lakhs new PMAY Gramin houses, which has now been increased to 44 lakhs. The Department of Rural Development was given a target to complete 33 lakh houses in 2016-17. These included houses that were taken up under the Indira AwaasYojana (IAY) and were incomplete on 1st April 2016. Many of them were incomplete for many years. Of these, 21.57 lakh houses have been completed so far.
On Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, PMGSY, out of the targeted 48,812 kilometres of rural roads this year, about 36,000 kilometres have been completed till date and by the end of this fiscal, it is estimated that about 52, 000 kilometres of roads would be built as the pace of construction of roads gathers pace in the month of February and March exceeding the targeted 133 Kms per day of Rural Roads construction. Use of Clean and Green Technology and Space technology is being made exceedingly to increase the pace of rural roads constructions.
On the issue of safe drinking water, Tomar informed that the Prime Minister has earmarked Rs 25,000 crores to complete this mission within 4 years out of which Rs. 12,500 crores will be the contribution by the Central government.
On the issue of Swachh Bharat Mission, the Minister said that it has now become a people’s revolution and the government has also enhanced budgetary allocation to achieve the goal of cleanliness in a time-bound manner. He said that sanitation coverage in the country has increased from 42 percent to more than 60 percent since this government came into power. So far, 91 districts and 909 blocks and more than one lakh and fifty seven thousand gram panchayats have been declared Open Defecation Free, ODF.