In an important livelihood related decision that could benefit as much as 70% of the poorer households in South, West and East Sikkim and three other Northeastern states, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the implementation of the North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) at an estimated cost of Rs.683.2 crore (US $ 144.4 million). The amount comprises 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 project aims to create self employment opportunities for tribals, particularly women in four most disadvantaged northeastern 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,” an official spokesperson said.
The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region will implement the NERLP in 15 poorest Panchayat wards of East district of Sikkim, Aizwal and Lungei districts of Mizoram, Peren and Tuensang districts of Nagaland 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.
The NERLP has four components – social empowerment, economic empowerment, partnership development and management, project management.
The following major impacts are expected to be seen after successful implementation of the North East Rural Livelihood Project:
i. Creation of sustainable community institutions around women Self-Help Groups, youth groups of men and women and Community Development Groups,
ii.. Capacity building of community institutions for self governance, bottom up planning, democratic functioning with transparency and accountability.
iii. 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.