GUWAHATI, Jan 1 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that Assam would become the first State in the country to implement a sustainable development agenda based on the model by eminent economist Jeffrey D Sachs.
Sachs, who is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of global anti-poverty targets that were supposed to be achieved by 2015. The UN had earlier, too, integrated various Sachs-recommended development models into its policies, aimed at reduction of global poverty and sustainable development.
Addressing media persons at his official residence at Koinadhara today, Gogoi said that the model – Chief Minister’s Vision Plan 2030 – would have organic farming, water preservation, afforestaion, preservation of soil nutrients, pollution reduction, etc., as thrust areas with the broader objective of sustainable development.
“Assam will be the first State in the country to implement this development model. We also plan to rope in Sachs for his active involvement in planning and implementation. This will be a unique endeavour, especially in view of the emerging challenges posed by global warming and climate change,” Gogoi said.
The Chief Minister also announced that Assam would execute a project – ‘Smart Village’ – to ensure that the villages had all the amenities and were self-reliant.
“Eighty per cent of the State’s people live in villages, and any development model that excludes villages from its ambit is bound to fail. We want to develop villages in a manner that will stop village-to-city migration,” he said.
Gogoi further said that 2.5 crore people of the State would get rice at Rs 2 a kg under the National Food Security Mission, with special subsidies of Re 1 per kg from the State Government.
He added that pregnant women would get an amount of Rs 2,000 per month instead of Rs 1,000 under Project Mamoni.
Another priority area, Gogoi added, was employment generation and skill development, especially for artisans and craftsmen.
“The wages of tea workers of the ATC gardens are being considered for enhancement to Rs 177 per day from February 1. The tea associations which have filed a court case against the wage enhancement notification of the State Government will also be requested to agree to the revised rate in their respective tea gardens in the interest of tea garden workers,” he said.
The Chief Minister also announced new pension schemes for Anganwadi workers and helpers, ASHA workers, Home Guards and gaonburahs.