World Bank to assist livelihood project in northeast India

Agartala, July 7 (IANS) The World Bank will provide Rs.5 billion to four north eastern states of Mizoram, Nagaland Sikkim and Tripura to create self-employment opportunities for the tribals and poor people living in rural and remote areas.

The Bank would provide the assistance for the North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP), starting this financial year (2010-11).

‘The pilot project of the NERLP would be implemented in two districts each of the four north eastern states aiming to generate livelihood of those people who are yet to get any assistance from any medium or major scheme,’ Tripura Rural Development and Forest Minister Jitendra Choudhury told reporters here Wednesday.

The NERLP has four components – social empowerment, economic empowerment, partnership development and management, project management.

‘NERLP would play a vital role in transforming rural economy, eradicating poverty and providing viable employment opportunities by utilising local and natural resources. It is aimed at socio-economic development of tribals and other backward people,’ said Choudhury.

The Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) ministry in consultation with the Department of Economic Affairs and World Bank has finalised the NERLP. It would be implemented through a society registered at Guwahati.

A 25-member team of the Bank and the DoNER ministry is now on a week-long visit to Tripura.

Project Director Alok Kumar Srivastava said the NERLP is based on the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) assisted North Eastern Regional Community Resource Management Project (NERCRMP) which has been successfully implemented in two districts each of Meghalaya, Assam and Manipur.

IFAD is a specialised agency of the United Nations and its mission is to enable the rural poor to overcome poverty.

Choudhury said that 32,000 self-help groups (SHGs) have been formed in Tripura and the state government has been providing Rs.50,000 to these under the Tripura Support Scheme (TSS). The SHGs are producing and marketing more than 250 products.

He said the state government has suggested to the visiting officials to involve elected local government bodies, including the tribal autonomous district councils, in the NERLP project.

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