RD minister flags off 30 pick-up trucks for rural areas

RD minister flags off 30 pick-up trucks for rural areas
Metsubo Jamir flagging off the pick-up trucks. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, SEP 8 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/8/2020 12:08:03 PM IST

Rural Development minister, Metsubo Jamir Tuesday flagged off 30 pickup trucks (Mahindra bolero) for 30 Village Level Organizations (VLOs) covering 29 blocks under Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY). AGEY, a sub scheme under DAY-NRLM, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.

The objectives of AGEY is to provide an alternative source of livelihoods to members of Self Help Groups under NRLM by facilitating them to operate public transport. 

This would also ease in transporting goods between remote villages and urban areas, especially products and produce of SHGs and help in generating income.

The dedicated AGEY CIF of Rs 8.5 lakh would be given as interest-free loan to SHG members and the expected time for repayment would be five years, during which the implementing agency-- Nagaland State Rural Livelihoods Mission would bear all operational costs of the vehicles, including insurance, road tax, permit and any other maintenance costs that might be required to be covered for operation of the vehicle.

Speaking at the flag-off event at the RD directorate here, Metsubo Jamir congratulated the Nagaland State Rural Livelihoods Mission (NSRLM) for reaching out to poor households across Nagaland. Mentioning that there were 12,000 SHGs currently in the State covering 1,10,000 households, he observed that during COVID-19 pandemic, Naga women took the lead in caring the vulnerable persons and were instrumental in keeping the community resilient and safe through information education communication (IEC) dissemination. 

He urged all SHGs across the State to continue providing critical services in their villages.

Congratulating the 30 beneficiaries, the minister reminded them of their responsibility towards their community, adding that success or failure of the programme would depend on the beneficiaries. 

As the nodal agency of AGEY, Jamir appealed NSRLM to closely monitor and ensure that the scheme was successfully implemented.  

In his brief address, RD commissioner & secretary Neposo Theluo congratulated NSRLM for rolling out AGEY in the State, which is expected to facilitate rural farmers and SHG members connect with the market.

He said it was an opportunity for the 30 SHG beneficiaries to lead by example as this was once-in-a-lifetime opportunity meant to help address marketing gaps in the country’s most remote places where even the basic amenities are a luxury.

He appealed to the beneficiaries to implement the programme in the right spirit so that interest was triggered in others for taking up such activities in their own vicinity, especially in these trying times when employment opportunities are extremely limited.

Theluo also urged NSRLM to constitute a strong financial inclusion team to facilitate credit linkages with financial institutions so that interested people could also take up similar activities.

In her remark, NSRLM mission director Imtimenla said the rural transportation scheme was introduced by Government of India under National Rural Livelihoods Mission in 2017-18.

She said a Community Investment Fund (CIF) with a dedicated Rs 255 lakh was earmarked by Union ministry of rural development solely with the purpose of creating a corpus fund.

Imtimenla said it was expected that there would be funds available every five years for purchase of new vehicles for other new beneficiaries, adding the fund could not be utilised for any other purpose.

Stating that the SHG members would run the vehicles on pre-approved and determined routes and that charges would be fixed jointly by the operator in coordination with the transport department and NSRLM, she mentioned that the vehicles would carry the AGEY branding to ensure the scheme’s identity.

As AGEY was also a job creation scheme, she said only trained and experienced drivers possessing valid driving license would be engaged to run the vehicles and their salaries would be paid from the earnings made by running the vehicles. 

RD director Imnukshila Jamir offered the vote of thanks on the occasion.

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