Agatha stress on proper funds use - Youngest MP happy with portfolio, to take over charge today

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By ANUP SHARMA in Guwahati
  • Published 1.06.09

Guwahati, May 31: Union minister of state for rural development and NCP’s Lok Sabha MP from Tura Agatha K. Sangma today stressed the proper monitoring of central schemes under the ministry in the Northeast.

Addressing a news meet at the Nehu guest house near the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport, Agatha said she would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the funds reached the grassroots level.

She expressed happiness at getting the rural development portfolio saying it would give her ample scope to usher in development in the rural areas of the country in general and the Northeast in particular.

Agatha was en route to Delhi from Tura and it was her first news conference in the region after being appointed minister.

“More than 75 per cent of India’s population lives in rural areas and it is very important to improve their condition,” she said.

“Most of the schemes of the rural development ministry are performance-oriented. It is very important to ensure proper implementation of the schemes, as a lack of implementation often stops the flow of funds to the particular state,” she said.

“State government departments are the implementing agencies of schemes under the rural development ministry. So I am planning to meet the representatives of the rural development departments of the state governments next week and chalk out strategies accordingly,” she added. “Funds are not a problem with the ministry. But in many cases funds meant for developmental schemes do not reach the grassroots level, which hampers development. It is very important to have a proper monitoring mechanism over the implementation of development projects,” said Agatha.

Agatha, the youngest member in the Manmohan Singh ministry, will be assuming charge tomorrow.

She urged the people of the Northeast to be more vigilant against corruption.

“The people of the region also need to change their attitude. Everyone must feel responsible towards society to ensure proper development at all levels,” she added.

Apart from Agatha, Vincent Pala, the Congress MP from Shillong, was appointed a minister of state.

The first time MP was given the water resources portfolio.