NEW DELHI, Nov 16 – In what could deliver the much-needed thrust, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today sanctioned the implementation of the World Bank aided North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) at an estimated cost of Rs 683.20 crore (USD 144.40 million), an official spokesman said.
The World Bank is extending the assistance as a soft loan of Rs 614.80 crore (USD 130 million) and the Central Government is funding Rs 68.40 crore (USD 14.40 million) over a period of five years.
The Central sector Multi-State Rural Poverty Alleviation Project would be implemented by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). The objective of the NERLP is to improve rural livelihoods especially that of women, unemployed youth and the most disadvantaged people in four Northeastern States of Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
The project would be implemented in Aizwal and Lunglei districts of Mizoram, Peren and Tuensang districts of Nagaland, South, West and 15 poorest Panchayat wards of East district of Sikkim and West and North districts of Tripura. The project will cover nearly 3,00,000 households in 1,624 villages of 58 blocks falling in the four States.
Four major project components designed to achieve the specific project objectives are social empowerment, economic empowerment, partnership empowerment and project management.
Sources said implementation of the North East Rural Livelihood Project is envisaged to lead to creation of sustainable community institutions around women Self-Help Groups, youth groups of men and women and Community Development Groups, capacity building of community institutions for self-governance, bottom up planning, democratic functioning with transparency and accountability.
The project would adopt a saturation approach at the village level. Under this approach, the project would endeavour to reach to 70 per cent of the poorer households in the villages. However, the project proposes to target the poorest of the poor on priority.
The Project Implementation arrangement consist of Governance Committee at Ministry level to review the project, take up policy issues affecting the project and advise convergence of various government schemes at the level of community. At Regional level, the project would be implemented by the NERLPS through Regional Project Management Unit (RPMU) headed by a Project Director. In order to ensure participation of concerned State Governments, their Nodal Officers have been included as members in the Executive Committee (seven members) of NERLPS with Secretary, North Eastern Council as its Chairman.
The RPMU will implement the project through establishment of eight District Project Management Units (DPMUs) and district teams that will manage the field level implementation through the Project Facilitation Teams (PFTs) set up covering clusters of villages.
There will be a District Project Advisory Committee (DPAC) established jointly by the NERLPS and the State Government for oversight, monitoring and convergence with other programmes at the district level. In each Project States there shall be a State Project Coordinator (SPC) to assist the State Nodal Officer, NERLP in execution of the Project. The major role of the SPC would be in achieving convergence with various government schemes.