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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Meghalaya’s target to become 10 Billion dollars economy by 2028

SHILLONG, FEB 16: An ambitious target to double the state GDP and make Meghalaya a 10 billion US dollars economy by 2028 has been set by the state government, informed Meghalaya Governor Phagu Chauhan Friday at the start of the Assembly Session in Shillong on Friday.

“Sectors like infrastructure, power, water supply, investment promotion, IT, tourism and agriculture will drive the economic growth necessary for achieving that target,” Chauhan said while delivering his address in Hindi during the first day of the Assembly’s budget session.

Highlighting the policies of the MDA government, the governor said the State envisions doubling the farmers’ income by leveraging Meghalaya’s unique agro-climate conditions and by strengthening and innovating value chains.

Farm to Table interventions

The state government is prioritizing farm to table interventions in high-value crops like turmeric, ginger, oranges, pineapple, herbs, spices and honey in mission mode. Under these missions, farmers are provided with planting materials, capacity building, value addition infrastructure and market linkages. Till date, these missions have helped 13 lakh farmers augment their income.

He said the Government is investing heavily in animal husbandry to create rural livelihoods and increase milk and meat production.

50 percent subsidy under CM ELEVATE

A 50% subsidy on unit costs for piggery, goatery, and poultry is being offered under the CM ELEVATE program. Under the Piggery Mission, 367 cooperative societies have been formed which are operating more than 6,000 breeding and fattening units. More than 1,000 dairy farmers have availed interest-free loans under the Meghalaya Milk Mission.

Fish production increased by over 1000 metric tons

Stating that Meghalaya’s fish production increased by 1,139 metric tons in 2023, reaching 19,374 metric tons, the governor said the state is taking further steps to reduce the demand-supply gap by introducing advanced spawning and culturing techniques like Recirculatory Aquaculture System and Integrated Cage Culture. Institutions for modernizing fishery related infrastructure and expertise are being set up across the state with support from NABARD.

50 percent drop in maternal death due to CM Safe Motherhood Scheme

In regards to the health sector, Governor Chauhan said that Meghalaya’s public health indicators have shown remarkable improvement in the last few years. The state has experienced a 50% reduction in maternal death following the introduction of the Chief Minister’s Safe Motherhood Scheme.

“The scheme’s existing network of 140 transit homes is being strengthened by upgrading 20 CHCs into referral units. As high as 87% of eligible infants have been brought under the state’s routine immunization target. There has also been a 30% reduction in infant mortality, both of which are record-breaking achievements”.

He said that the Government has taken the lead in powering its public health infrastructure by solar energy adding that close to 400 sub-centres and more than 50 primary health centres and a number of other healthcare facilities are now fully solar powered. This has resulted in deliveries being conducted for the first time at sub-centres.

Further, the governor said to bolster the state’s healthcare workforce, the Medical Recruitment Board has filled 47% of vacant medical positions in just one year. The government has disbursed more than 6 crores rupees through 6,500 Village Health Councils to strengthen localized public health capacity through community participation.

Over 2000 schools in state getting upgraded

Asserting that the government remains committed to providing quality education at all levels, the governor said the government is currently upgrading the existing infrastructure in all schools.

“208 Elementary, Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools have been taken up in Phase-I. 111 schools are being covered under Phase-II and another 1,725 under Phase-III. The long-standing issue of recruitment of government elementary school teachers has been successfully completed recently,” he said while adding that the 996 newly recruited teachers were handed appointment letters in programs at Tura and Shillong.

In the field of higher education, he said that Shillong Government College of Engineering was inaugurated last year and will welcome its first cohort of students soon. “The College of Architecture and Urban Planning in Tura is scheduled for completion later this year. The Captain Williamson Sangma Technical University Act was amended to make it a State University to be able to affiliate colleges. This is going to be Meghalaya’s first state university,” he said.

1.5 lakh youth to be trained in employable skills in next 5 years

On employment generation, the governor said that the Government aspires to train 1.5 lakh youth in employable skills in the next 5 years through the Skills Meghalaya program. Recent initiatives in skilling include the training of nurses who will find employment in developed countries like Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom. A large number of youth are also being trained for self employment in trades like integrated farming, hospitality, culinary arts and fashion. These skilled youth are also being provided start-up tools to take up production, thus leading to employment and contributing to the State’s growth.

74 percent coverage with JJM, 4.8 lakh households get water connection

The governor informed that till date, 4.8 lakh households across the state have been provided with functional tap water connections under the Jal Jeevan Mission – a coverage of 74% which is above the national average.

He said apart from households, 66% schools, 66% of Anganwadi centers and 71% of PHCs have been provided with drinking water by the state government. More than 1,000 villages in the state have been certified as ‘Har Ghar Jal’ villages. 5,467 villages have been declared open defecation free under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) Program. The government is targeting to achieve ODF status for all remaining villages in Meghalaya by the end of the current year, he added.

Technical study to expand Shillong airport, Heliports in Tura and Shillong

Governor Chauhan said that the department has taken several steps to extend the air transport infrastructure of the State. Shillong is already connected with flights to 8 cities across India.

“Airport Authority of India is conducting a technical study to expand the Shillong Airport at Umroi to allow regular passenger flights to all major cities,” he said while informing that the proposed heliports in Shillong and Tura are in advanced stage of planning.

New Shillong Township development in 2 phases

On the decision of the government to develop the new hill city – the New Shillong Township, Governor Chauhan said that it will be in two phases. The first – an Administrative City at Mawdiangdiang with world class governance infrastructure is making steady progress. The second – a Knowledge City at Mawkhanu is in the ideation stage.

As part of a comprehensive connectivity plan for New Shillong, 3 roads connecting New Shillong, Shillong City and the Shillong Bypass are being built. Similar plans are being developed for Tura and Jowai.

He said that the government is also taking a number of measures to enhance ease of living for citizens in urban areas. “A Comprehensive Mobility Plan is being worked out for Shillong and Tura with the aim of providing seamless, sustainable and affordable mobility. As part of this effort, the state is repurposing the government land for building parking spaces, pathways and improving road geometrics. Works on upgradation of the Umkhrah Riverfront and Ward’s Lake in Shillong are under progress,” Chauhan said.


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