Baghmara (Meghalaya),Oct 20 : Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Thursday said that benefits of FOCUS scheme are being extended to urban Producers Groups in the State.
As part of this initiative, Producer Groups (PGs) comprising 10 or more members with income generating activities can avail Rs. 5000 each as individual cash benefit under the umbrella of the group.
“A weavers group or pickle making group can come together as a Producer Group under FOCUS in urban areas and avail the benefit of the scheme. Even youth groups doing different income generating activities can also form such groups and avail its benefits,” said Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma at a programme to celebrate the success of FOCUS at Baghmara in South Garo Hills.
He told the gathering that registration for FOCUS plus across the State will continue till November 30th and in the first week of December the funds will be transferred to the beneficiaries.
He said that during the registration the first instalment of ₹1000 will be disbursed and the second instalment of ₹4000 will be disbursed in the first week of December.
Under FOCUS and FOCUS plus, 4.5 lakh people across the State will benefit. The Government has earmarked Rs. 500 cr for this flagship initiative.
Addressing over 3000 plus farming communities, youth organisations and people from different walks of life at Baghmara, the Chief Minister said that the Government will continue to support the farming sector and will ensure that the youth of the State are given opportunities for sustained livelihood.
During the programme, he also distributed cheques under Focus and handed over Focus plus cards to beneficiaries. He also handed over cheques under Yess Meghalaya to youth organisations and under Progress scheme piglets and Kuroiler chicks to different beneficiaries of the district.
He also handed over cheques to village organisations of SHGs a total sum of Rs. 2.15 cr in the district under Community Investment Fund for the current financial year.
The Chief Minister who has been touring different parts of the State to promote flagship schemes of the Government also advised the beneficiaries of Focus scheme to utilise the funds received for common good of the member. He said that funds received can be used to upscale their ongoing farming activities as well as used as “revolving funds” amongst the group members.
He said that through revolving funds and intervention carried out within the group, the members can expand their enterprise and agricultural activities.
At the event, the Chief Minister also distributed cheques under “Green Meghalaya” initiative to various community organisations for their endeavour to conserve natural resources and forest. The Payment for Ecosystem Services which is an initiative to support communities for conservation, restoration and rejuvenation of forest areas and its resources branded as “Green Meghalaya” aims to encourage conservation at the grassroot level.