Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma launched the MGNREGS in Census towns of Meghalaya at a function that was held at the State Convention Centre here.

Sangma expressed his gratitude to the Government of India, and the Ministry of Rural Development for clarifying the status of census towns and said that it was a simple issue but one which was not been resolved for a very long time.

“It was because of the ambiguity in the actual classification of census towns, the census towns could not derive benefits from neither the urban schemes nor the rural schemes and had missed out a lot of developmental programmes”, he said.

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He added that the Government of India has clarified that MGNREGS is applicable in rural areas and since the census towns have not been notified as urban areas nor cantonment areas MGNREGS can operate in census towns.

“It is with a great sense of satisfaction today that I stand here to announce that the census towns can now derive the benefits of MGNREGS”, he said.

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The Chief Minister also said that Meghalaya has been performing exceptionally well in MGNREGS and the benefits of this programme should reach more people. “We are also one of the first states to have women reservation of 15 per cent in the committees of the MGNREGS and today we have close to 2500 women secretaries in different VECs and that reflects the equality and gender participation on important decisions that are made at the grassroots level”, he added.

The Chief Minister further thanked the community for participating actively in different developmental programmes of the government.

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