Shimla, Sep 29 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today lauded the UPA Government at the Centre for extending the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to every district of the country, saying it had fulfilled one of its election promises.
The scheme launched in 200 most backward districts of the country in February last year was later extended to 130 another areas to provide at least 100 days of employment to eligible people in their villages, he said in a release here.
Mr Singh said about 2.10 crore rural household were provided employment in first phase, generating 90.50 crore mandays in which 60 per cent share was that of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes besides 40 per cent women.
Fifty four per cent of all development since the launching of the scheme pertained to water conservation in the rural areas of the country, he said.
He said an estimated amount of Rs 20,000 crore was likely to be spent for the implementation of the programme and Himachal Pradesh would also be getting its due share in the same.
The scheme was initially launched in Chamba and Sirmour districts of the state and was later extended to two more districts of Mandi and Kangra, he said, while urging the Centre to include every district of the state in the scheme, he said.
The Chief Minister said with the scheme now being extended to all the districts of the state, the remaining eight districts of the state would also be included in it and assure 100 days of guaranteed employment to every job card holder in the rural areas.
The rural unemployed had shown keen interest in the programme had registered themselves in large number to avail of the benefits of the scheme, he said.
He said scheme had proved to be a grand success in the state, especially in the remote and difficult areas where large number of rural unemployed were getting themselves registered.
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Viplove Thakur has also welcomed the Centre's decision on NREGS, saying the party has shown that it was with functioning in the interests of the common man.