Meghalaya CM addressing on the occasion of 74th Independence Day at 2nd Polo Ground in Shillong

Shillong: Keeping in mind the guidelines issued by the Union ministry of home affairs concerning the celebration of 74th Independence Day, Meghalaya government ensured to keep it a low-key affair on Saturday.

Addressing on the occasion, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma announced the launch of Restart Meghalaya Mission.

Sangma said, “This mission comprises a series of programmes to support our farmers, and entrepreneurs and to build growth promoting basic infrastructure and services. We are calling this mission RESTART because we want to revive and give a push to the different development activities that were brought to a standstill by COVID. I am committing an amount of Rs 14,515 crore which is to be spent over the next three years for the RESTART MEGHALAYA MISSION. Out of this, Rs 7,839 crore has been earmarked for this year.”

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Sangma emphasised that the government will target to double the reach of the Kisan Credit Card programme from the current number of 86,000 within one year. They also aim to make the KCC loans very attractive by providing an interest subvention of 2% on timely repayment. He added that this measure, for the first time in the history of the state, will enable Meghalaya’s farmers to avail loans with only 2% interest rate.

According to Sangma, the mission will also emphasise on piggery. “The Piggery Mission has been restructured to suit the needs of a post COVID world. Funded by an NCDC loan of Rs 209 crore, Rs 55 crore will be spent this year. This will be implemented through cooperative societies and will benefit over 25,000 people in Meghalaya,” said Sangma.

Another priority under this mission is entrepreneurship and small businesses. To solve the problem faced by this section, the chief minister announced the start of the Chief Minister’s Support programme for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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“Under this programme, the government is launching an online small loans portal, which will enable small businesses to easily apply for loans without having to physically visit the bank branches. More importantly, the Government will provide a one time grant support of upto Rs 10,000 for any new small business loans of up to Rs 50,000 that are availed. A corpus fund of Rs 15 crore is created for providing the grant component under this programme,” said Sangma.

The mission will also prioritise on several other sector to name a few are infrastructure improvement like road projects, water supply, power sector, information technology infrastructure, transport infrastructure, sports, tourism, human development and health care.

Sangma added that the government made a commitment in the recent budget that they will transform Meghalaya into one of the top 10 states of the country.

“Despite the current COVID crisis, we are very much on track. All the investments that I outlined in the RESTART MEGHALAYA MISSION will propel us towards progress and wellbeing. Despite the difficult overall economic situation, the Government has managed to find the resources to invest in both short and medium-term growth,” said Sangma.

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