The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 5 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sops galore at capital fair

The Ranchi district administration on Monday distributed sops worth crores of rupees at the start of a two-day Vikas Mela, the first fair in the capital meant for beneficiaries of state as well as central welfare schemes.

Ranchi deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey said many public sector banks had also tied up with the administration to facilitate easy and cheap loans to promote entrepreneurship and livelihood opportunities among people.

“It’s a first such mela in the state capital,” he pointed out.

Around 10,000 people from Ranchi and areas on its outskirts such as Ormanjhi, Mandar, Angara and Piska came to the mela at Morabadi grounds. A majority of the participants were women including members of self-help groups.

The administrative larges-se — nearly Rs 442 crore worth of cash and goods will be handed out at the two-day event — comes after concerns expressed by Raj Bhavan over poor utilisation of funds ever since President’s Rule was imposed in Jharkhand in January.

Impressed by the sheer presence of women, governor Syed Ahmed said it was a testimony to the growing awareness among the fair sex.

“Women form an integral part of society and if they are determined, they can play a crucial role in terms of development. The presence of women is slowly increasing in fields such as panchayat bodies and professional outfits. But there is a need for them to come forward in bigger roles,” Ahmed told the gathering.

A similar programme was organised in Deogarh in last month where sops to the tune of Rs 300 crore were distributed.

Ahmed maintained he was making all efforts to rid the administration of tardy approach towards development schemes and ensure the all-round progress of the state. “My dream is to help Jharkhand become one of the best states in India and we are working in this regard. I hope the beneficiaries at this mela will utilise the funds and schemes positively,” he said.

On Monday, Rs 15,000 each was doled out to 210 couples under Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana, Rs 6,000 each to 3,000 beneficiaries of Laxmi Ladli Yojana, 12 tricycles worth Rs 72,000 to the disabled and rickshaw-pullers under a social welfare scheme and 34 tractors worth Rs 72 lakh for farmers among others.

Governor’s adviser Madhukar Gupta, principal secretary N.N. Sinha, Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahay and senior government officials also attended the fair.

Sahay, however, was critical about the administration’s functioning.

“These schemes could have been easily implemented before. But since the financial year is coming to a close, the mela is a last-minute attempt to show that allocated sums have been spent. The administration should get rid of such an attitude so that development and welfare activities are visible round the year, and not on a single day. But having said that, I believe something is better than nothing,” the Congress leader said.