By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 24 Jul: Union Minister of State for Rural Development Faggan Singh Kulaste today claimed that the Modi government was aiming to develop the rural areas of Uttarakhand as a model. He further claimed that he was on a two day tour to Uttarakhand to assess the current situation and the potential of rural development in the state. Speaking to media persons informally today in Dehradun, Kulaste claimed that Modi had given due priority to rural development in the country and had launched various rural development projects as well as schemes. He also claimed that rural development in Uttarakhand ranked high in Modi Government’s priorities.
As part of his two-day programme, the Union Minister held a review meeting and an interaction with the officials related to Rural Development. During the meeting, he also sought feedback in respect of the progress of various Central schemes. Kulaste said that that as far as rural development was concerned, the Union Government aimed to develop Uttarakhand as a model state. He directed the officials in the rural development to prepare a detailed draft of proposals and submit the same to the Centre. Some other states had also been asked to do the same, he said adding that new schemes and projects would be launched on the basis of the proposals sent by the states based on their specific needs and after due assessment of the proposals.
The Union Minister appreciated the performance of Uttarakhand in respect of the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). He noted that the Centre was satisfied with the performance of the state in these two schemes. He said that he was confident that Uttarakhand would be able to achieve the target of providing houses to about 50,000 people in the state by 2022. Kulaste also observed that there was immense potential for tourism in the state and this could generate large scale employment and self employment to local people of Uttarakhand but a new and experimental approach was required to achieve. He added that tourism schemes and packages needed to be modified and experimented with. In respect of the financial crisis being faced by the state, he pointed out that Uttarakhhand had been given budget for rural development under the 90:10 ratio with Centre contributing 90 percent of the budget. He promised that there would be no cut in the budget of Uttarakhand and further promised that any special needs of the state would also be taken care of by the Centre.