Rangatari: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday said that the government, through different interventions and programmes, is working to bring a turnaround in the lives of the people.

He made the remark while addressing a gathering of beneficiaries of FOCUS plus, PROGRESS, Yess Meghalaya and SHGs at Rangatari in South West Garo Hills.  “Our government has remained committed to the welfare of the farming communities and through Focus and other schemes we are trying to provide maximum support to them,” the Chief Minister said.

“Our farmers’ welfare programme has benefited 4.5 lakh people. In the previous government, there were no such programmes for the welfare of the farmers,” he said.  

Informing that Focus and FOCUS plus are the biggest farmers’ welfare programmes in the whole of Northeast, the Chief Minister said, “Cash benefit of ₹5000 to each individual in every household for next 10 years is our target and we are committed to ensuring this”. On misinformation being spread by sections that focus funds are loans, the Chief Minister said, “Focus funds were not loans but financial support to the farmers of the state”.

The CM told the gathering that ₹450 crores have been earmarked for the implementation of the FOCUS programme. He also informed that to date, close to ₹150 crores has already been disbursed under FOCUS and FOCUS plus programme across the state.

“The success of the programme will depend on you,” he said while exhorting the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously for the needs of the group. Terming Focus as a “unique programme” that is directly benefiting the farmers, the CM said that vested interest should not politicize this programme.

“This will bring a transformation and revolution in the lives of the people. This programme is to bring welfare and benefits to our people,” he added.

During the programme, 793 individual producers of Rangatari, South West Garo Hills received the financial benefit of ₹7.93 Lakhs through FOCUS+. 400 pig farmers received piglets and 70 poultry farmers received kuroiler poultry birds through the Rural Livestock Piggery & Poultry scheme ‘PROGRESS’.

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