Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said her government would buy land from the people and distribute it among the landless under the Nijo Bhumi Nijo Griho scheme.
The announcement,which comes ahead of the panchayat polls,was made at the launch of the National Rural Livelihood Mission in West Bengal at Netaji Indoor Stadium,where thousands of self-help group (SHG) members were present.
I will buy land from those who will be willing to sell the plots. But we will never force them. The purchased land will be included in the land bank from which plots will be distributed among the landless under Nijo Bhumi Nijo Griho scheme, Mamata said.
To help more women to get jobs under MNREGA,Mamata said she would write to the Centre requesting it to relax the eligibility criteria to get wages for digging soil under the scheme.
Earlier,NREGA beneficiaries got one days wage for digging up 89 cubic feet of soil. Since the physical capabilities of women in Bengal is not on a par with their counterparts in states like Punjab and Rajasthan,the quantity of soil required to be dug up for one days wage was brought down to 66 cubic feet.
Because of difference of physical capabilities and weather conditions,I will write to the Centre to reduce the quantity of soil required to be dug up to get wages under NREGA to 60 cubic feet, Mamata said.
The Chief Minister also instructed Labour Minister Purnendu Bose to prepare a scheme within three months to bring SHG members under insurance schemes and announced that the government would set up markets in state capitals for selling products of SHGs. She also urged nationalized banks to ensure that SHG members get funds as loan. Brothers and sisters of SHGs should not suffer because of unavailability of loans, Mamata said.
The rate of state government subsidy to SHGs will be increased to 30 per cent from the existing 20 per cent,Mamata announced.