The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last fortnight approved the implementation of the North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) at an estimated cost of Rs.683.2 crore (US $ 144.4 million) comprising assistance as a soft loan from the World Bank of Rs.614.8 crore (US $ 130 million) and central Government funding of Rs.68.4 crore (US $ 14.4 million) over a period of five years.
The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region will implement the North East Rural Livelihood Project in Aizwal and Lungei districts of Mizoram, Peren and Tuensang districts of Nagaland, South, West and 15 poorest Panchayat wards of East district of Sikkim and West & North districts of Tripura. The project will cover nearly 3,00,000 households in 1624 villages of 58 blocks falling in the four states.
The objective of the NERLP is to improve rural livelihoods especially that of women, unemployed youth and the most disadvantaged in four North Eastern States.
Four major project components designed to achieve the specific project objectives are social empowerment, economic empowerment, partnership empowerment and project management.
The following major impacts are expected to be seen after successful implementation of the North East Rural Livelihood Project:
- Creation of sustainable community institutions around women Self-Help Groups, youth groups of men and women and Community Development Groups,
- Capacity building of community institutions for self governance, bottom up planning, democratic functioning with transparency and accountability.
- Increase in economic and livelihood opportunities by developing partnership of community institutions for natural resource management, microfinance, market linkages and sectoral economic services.
The project would adopt a saturation approach at the village level. Under this approach project would endeavour to reach to 70% of the poorer households in the village. However, the project proposes to target the poorest of the poor on priority.
The Project Implementation arrangement consist of Governance Committee, at Ministry level to review the project, take up policy issues affecting the project and advise convergence of various government schemes at the level of community. At Regional level, the project would be implemented by the NELPS through Regional Project Management Unit (RPMU) headed by a Project Director. In order to ensure participation of concerned State Governments, their Nodal Officers have been included as members in the Executive Committee (7 members) of NELPS with Secretary, North Eastern Council as its Chairman.
The RPMU will implement the project through establishment of eight District Project Management Units (DPMUs) and district teams that will manage the field level implementation through the Project Facilitation Teams (PFTs) set up covering cluster of villages. There will be a District Project Advisory Committee (DPAC) established jointly by the NELPS and the state government for oversight, monitoring and convergence with other programmes at the district level. In each Project states there shall be a State Project Coordinator (SPC) to assist the State Nodal Officer, NERLP in execution of the Project. The major role of the SPC would be in achieving convergence with various government schemes.