Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kerala to review EMS housing scheme

by BABU GOPALAKRISHNAN | Thiruvananthapuram, June 17, 2011 16:52

The Panchayats and Social Welfare Minister, MK Muneer on Friday revealed that plans are afoot to have a comprehensive review of EMS housing scheme in Kerala.

Addressing the press here, the minister said that at the first cabinet meeting chief minister Oommen Chandy mentioned about the irregularities in the scheme and asked him to make a comprehensive study. As a follow up, the minister said, he is planning to convene a conference between June 25 and 28 to review the implementation of the scheme and introduce corrective measures if any.

The minister also said that he would focus on the clean Kerala project and would take steps to make Kerala pollution free within the next five years. He also said that steps would be taken to improve the functioning of Suchitha Mission.

“Panchayat and Social Welfare Departments had an important role in delivering services to the people,” Muneer said. “The Panchayats are implementing agency of many social welfare schemes. As far as the local administration is concerned the minister concerned is only a facilitator”.

Maintaining that the Kudumbasree Poverty Alleviation project would continue as the project has elevated itself from poverty alleviation to livelihood scheme, the minister said that the government would consider giving larger role to Kudumbasree in several new areas, including farming. “With women coming forward to take farming as an occupation, the government would think of advancing assistance to them at zero per cent interest,” he said.

The minister said that the trifurcation of the local administration portfolios would pose no problems in administration as the panchayats, rural and urban development continued to be under one single department under one government secretary. “I would focus on the implementation of the plan schemes,” he said. “Aim is to raise the profile of panchayat and social welfare departments by ensuring that the two worked together to deliver services to the people”.

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