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    Government puts collectors on mission mode

    BHUBANESWAR: Under fire from the Opposition for failure in the implementation of various welfare schemes, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday asked the collectors to be innovative in their approach.The two-day conference of district collectors, inaugurated by the Chief Minister, will focus on how to improve the service and delivery system of the Government. The conference has assumed significance against the backdrop of the CBI probe into the irregularities in the implementation of the MGNREGS and scam in the purchase of dal under the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme. The conference, convened only a few months before the panchayat polls in February next year, issued guidelines to the district and block administrations to be people-friendly and take services to their doorsteps.Addressing the collectors, the Chief Minister said they were placed at the right place to provide service directly to the people. “You can change life of the vulnerable sections of society through different schemes and programmes,” he said.“Collectors can reach out to maximum number of people and they can involve masses in schemes and programmes to make them successful,” Naveen said asking the district collectors to take up service to people in mission mode. Stressing on transparency in the implementation of MGNREGA, the State Government asked the collectors to enhance capacity so that more developmental works could be taken up besides providing jobs to poor villagers. “We have asked the collectors to expand their spending capacity under MGNREGA up to Rs 2,000 crore per annum,” said Chief Secretary B K Patnaik. The State Government’s present spending capacity remains within ` 800 crore per annum.The collectors were told how effectively they could spend funds under the rural job scheme to benefit more and more poor people. “Collectors were told how to ensure survival of standing crop in 99 blocks of 16 districts where drought-like situation prevailed due to inadequate rainfall,” said Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro. The district authorities were also asked to assist farmers in rabi season, Patro said. Besides, the collectors had been instructed to ensure that the people being provided land under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) get their land documents and other relevant papers, he added.