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Utility vehicles handed over to 14 SHGs under AGEY Govt to provide incentive to agriculture-horticulture produce: CM

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 10:15 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 04:44 [IST]

Utility vehicles handed over to 14 SHGs under AGEY Govt to provide incentive to agriculture-horticulture produce: CM

KUNALRAI
GANGTOK
: Chief Minister P.S. Golay on Tuesday handed over 14 utility vehicles to the Self Help Groups (SHGs) of south and west districts during a short programme held here at Tashiling Secretariat. The 14 vehicles – seven for each district - were presented under AjeevikaGrameen Express Yojana (AGEY) in the programme organised by State Rural Livelihood Mission (SLRM), Rural Development department.
Speaking to media, the Chief Minister said the AGEY scheme aims to provide an alternative source of livelihood to the SHG members by facilitating them to operate public transport services in rural areas. It is also to provide a safe, affordable and community-monitored rural transport service to connect remote villages with key services including access to market, education and health services for the overall economic development of the area, he said.
The Chief Minister said the utility vehicles provided to the SHGs can also be used by the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) with agreement and consultation to transport the agriculture produce to the market at affordable rates.
As promised in our party election manifesto, our government is working on rural development despite the current pandemic situation, Golay said. We want to boost rural economy and cooperative movement in the State, he added.
Golay urged the SHGs to use the utility vehicles to generate revenue which can further be invested in buying more vehicles for the overall income of the SHGs in their respective wards. He said the State government would be extending incentives to farmers also on the lines of incentive given to the dairy farmers. The rate of incentives as per the product has been worked out and would be announced and implemented shortly, he said.
The incentives to agriculture and horticulture produce will be given on the basis of data provided by the FPOs.
The Chief Minister expressed his gratitude to the Health workers, police, Safaikarmacharis and other frontliners putting in every effort to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to a disciplined following of SOPs and guidelines by the people, the Covid-19 cases are falling in the State, he said.
The festival season is on and I appeal the people to celebrate in a low scale due to the pandemic and by strictly following the golden rules which are frequent hand washing, wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing, said the Chief Minister. He extended his Dashain greetings to the people of Sikkim.
The SLRM under Rural Development department is supporting various livelihood activities among SHGs while the federation of SHGs are being utilized to promote higher income livelihood activities. Under the AGEY scheme, all 18 blocks of south and west districts were approved to receive one utilitytransport vehicles at one vehicle per block. The SHG federation will receive Rs. 6 lakh per vehicle as a grant from Sikkim Rural Livelihood Mission and the selected SHG member will receive it as an interest-free loan. Once the repayment is received by the federation, the amount will be again provided to the next selected SHG member for the same purpose and will be revolved continuously.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister awarded certificates of appreciation to SISCOBank and some SHGsfor excellence in their respective activities.
The programme was attended by Rural Development minister Sonam Lama, Rural Development principal secretary C.S. Rao, commissioner P. Senthil Kumar and others.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi