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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CM stress on rural progress

Guwahati, Dec. 13: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said his government would not consider itself successful unless it could bring about development in villages.

Speaking at a function organised by the Sadou Asam MNREGA Karmachari Unnayam Parishad here, he said, “I always think that real development in a state like Assam has to begin in villages. We live in villages not in the cities. I am very happy that the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is good and satisfactory in the state.”

Gogoi appealed to those associated with MNREGA to perform better so that the state can convince the Centre to allocate more funds to Assam under the scheme.

Speaking at the function, panchayat minister Rakibul Hussain said, “The MNREGA launched by the UPA has given a fillip to rural development and employment opportunities in many parts of the country. The construction of pucca roads and execution of welfare schemes is changing the lives of villagers.”

He said the government has already announced an increase in daily wages for those working under the scheme ad the contingency funds under it would also be increased from six to eight per cent.

Sources said keeping in mind the ensuing panchayat polls, the Congress government is considering fixing the minimum rate of wages as Rs 208 per day for skilled/clerical workers and Rs 150 per day for semi-skilled workers.

A hike has also been proposed for unskilled workers engaged in agriculture, construction or maintenance of roads or in building operation, stone breaking or crushing, flood control, irrigation and public health engineering.