The Asian Age, May 30 2014, New Delhi: Restructuring rather than repealing the controversial Land Acquisition Act initiated by the UPA government will be the focus of new minister for rural development Gopinath Munde.
He asserted that he was not in the favour of scrapping the scheme but will rather focus on providing compensation and rehabilitation to the farmers. He emphasised that one of his priorities will be asset development in the villages, which due to the integration of the three ministries will be easier to streamline.
Mr Munde added that he will tackle the issue of non-timely payments under the rural job scheme, MNREGA by working in coordination with the state governments.
“Ensuring timely payments under the MNREGA by coordinating with the state governments will also be on priority. Timely performance of the scheme will be assessed to ensure that the benefits of the scheme reach its beneficiaries,” Mr Munde said.
He, however, rejected the idea of increasing the duration of the scheme from 100 days as he said that most parts in India witness 100 days of rainfall.
Another focus area he emphasised will be the rejuvenation of the drinking water scheme. “We will identify the problem areas in ensuring a permanent source of clean drinking water. The challenge is the fact that the implementing agency for the scheme are the district council and not the state agencies,” he said.
He added that new groups will be added to the flagship scheme of the Congress-led UPA government, Indira rural housing scheme.