Jairam's rural ministry focuses on devp in Naxal-hit zones

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Jairam Ramesh
New Delhi, Jul 25: The Rural Development Ministry under Jairam Ramesh is now focusing on upgradation and development in the naxal-hit districts in Chhatisgarh, aiming to fight Naxalism.

The development programme to fight Naxalism may include the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana, the cement concrete road could be allowed to be built throughout. Right now, it can be built only where there is habitation. The six per cent ceiling in administration costs could also be relaxed. The Indira Awas Yojana for rural poor could be extended to all families living in Naxal-hit districts.

"The situation is very grim, very serious in Narayanpur, Bijapur, Kanker. In large number of panchayats, anywhere between 30 to 50 per cent there are no rural development programmes taking place," Ramesh said.

Recognising the tremendous potential in welfare programmes to reach out to those living in conflict zone, Jairam Ramesh has been looking at not just increasing the resources if necessary, but also relaxing norms in implementation of these programmes.

"I am only saying that rural development programmes are an important instrument in the government's anti-Naxal strategy and we should integrate what we are doing on the law and order side with what we are doing on the development side," Ramesh said.

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