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3 crore Lakhpati Didis must be created before 3-year deadline: Chouhan to officials

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Shillong, June 13: Union Rural Development Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Thursday, told officials to work towards achieving the target of creating three crore Lakhpati Didis in villages ahead of the three-year deadline as part of a stepped-up action plan.

 

The Minister directed senior officials to take strong steps to strengthen women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural areas.

 

Chouhan, who is also the Agriculture Minister, said that he will soon hold a meeting with Rural Development Ministers of states to give impetus to the Lakhpati Didi initiative and discuss with Chief Ministers to sort out issues, if any.

 

Chouhan appreciated the efforts under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) and called upon the need for strengthening branding and marketing efforts for sale of products made by women’s SHGs.

 

Chouhan observed that these women once considered ‘un-bankable’ were the ‘lakhpatis of tomorrow’ and SHGs were well poised to solve the decadal problem of rural credit – a true example of women-led development.

 

The Minister was informed that during FY 2023-24, banks disbursed credit worth Rs 2,06,636 crore to over 56 lakh women SHG. This represented a five-fold increase in the number of SHGs annually credit linked and a nearly ten-fold jump in annual credit disbursement during the past 10 years.

 

Reviewing Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the Minister observed that the scheme has been instrumental in changing the face of rural India and needs to be carried forward to facilitate the attainment of Viksit Bharat.

 

He directed that efforts should be oriented towards facilitating connectivity of 100 per cent rural habitations with all-weather roads. He appreciated the new measures taken for quality assurance of rural roads and desired that these be enhanced at all levels.

 

Chouhan also called for more coordination with the states for improving rural road maintenance in their entire design life. He directed that further measures be taken to strengthen the involvement of public representatives in the programme.

 

Minister of State for Rural Development Kamlesh Paswan, Secretary Shailesh Kumar Singh and other senior officials were also present during the meeting. (IANS)

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