Govt. committed to implement pro-people mandate for rural India: Joshi

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New Delhi, Jan 18(ANI): Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Dr. C.P. Joshi on Monday reiterated the Government's resolve to reach out to millions of rural poor across the country through better and speedy implementation of the on going flagship programs.

Addressing the media at the 10th Editors Conference on Social Sector issues in the national capital, Joshi said MNREGA being the pioneer of rural development now encompasses the entire country and has the potential to change the lives of rural households.

"The new initiatives among NREGA include entitlement of real wages under MNREGA at Rs. 100, setting up of the system of District Level Ombudsman, setting up of Eminent Citizen Groups to monitor implementation of MNREGA, enlarging the scope of works under MNREGA to reach out to the small and marginal farmers," Joshi said.

"These efforts have been made to ensure transparency and accountability under MNREGA while reaching out benefits to the rural poor," he added.

The Minister also informed that the focus will be on tackling the issue of delayed payments.

"Several measures have been undertaken to streamline the process and the government is in touch with various stakeholders including the public sector banks wage disbursement to MNREGA workers through banks or post office accounts has been made mandatory to ensure proper disbursement of wages to NREGA workers," Joshi said.On the revamp of Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), he said that the scheme has been restructure as National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and will have the provision of imparting training as well financing at district level.

The Minister expressed concern over the high rate of depleting ground water table in the rural areas of the country and said in future it will be a tough task to ensure potable water supply if remedial steps are not taken.

To achieve drinking water security at village level, conjunctive use of water, judicious use of rainwater, surface water and ground water should be promoted, Joshi added. (ANI)

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