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More power to women: CM

Guwahati, Dec. 5: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today emphasised on rural development and women empowerment to achieve overall development of the state.

Speaking at a meeting of stakeholders of the Assam State Rural Livelihoods Mission held at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra here today, Gogoi said development of cities such as Guwahati and Jorhat cannot be the parameter to asses the development of the state.

He said only through the development of villages the real development of the state could be achieved.

The chief minister said the income of the villagers would have to be increased in order to ease the unemployment problem in the state.

At the function, he distributed money among the self-help groups (SHGs) from the revolving fund of Rs 5.87 crore created under the mission.

Gogoi said the government was empowering women in the rural areas through creation of women SHGs.

He said 35,479 women SHGs were covered under the Assam State Rural Livelihoods Mission.

“We want women to earn on a par with men, which will contribute immensely to the prosperity of the state as well as the country,” the chief minister said.

The objective of the mission, which was launched by the Union ministry of rural development, is to reduce poverty among rural population living below the poverty line (BPL) by promoting diversified and gainful self-employment and wage employment opportunities.

The mission was conceived as a cornerstone of national poverty reduction strategy.

The panchayat and rural development minister, Rakibul Hussain, said because of the economic policies implemented by the Congress government the economy of the state had undergone sea change compared to what it was in 2001.

He spoke on the importance of women empowerment and the steps taken up the government in this direction.