Meghalaya, August 22: The ‘Restart Meghalaya Mission’ is launched to revive the State economy, which has been hit hard due to the pandemic. He announced the launch after hoisting the flag at Polo Ground on Saturday.

This mission comprises a series of programs 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,” he said. He said that the mission was recommended by the Chief Minister’s Task Force. An amount of Rs. 14,515 crore is to be spent over the next three years for the Mission and out of this, Rs. 7,839 crore has been earmarked for this year.

The Chief Minister also mentioned six programmes under Restart Meghalaya Mission which include agriculture and it’s allied sectors, promotion of well-being and livelihoods in a rural area, providing one-time grant support of up to Rs. 10,000 for any new small business, loans of up to Rs. 50,000 for small businesses and entrepreneurs under the Chief Minister’s Support programme. He also committed a total investment of Rs. 8,753 crore over the next three years in developing the infrastructure and 13 major roads covering a length of about 350km will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 850 crore.

Stating the close to 50,000 people’s livelihood depends on tourism, he said, “Unfortunately, it might take many more months for normal travel and tourism to be restored. However, I am hopeful we will be able to do limited and restricted opening as and when the COVID situation improves in the rest of the country.” As private investment might be difficult to come through, the government will make the investments of about Rs. 200 crore in creating high-value accommodation and tourism infrastructure to help get Meghalaya economy back to a stable point.

The next area of importance is Human Development. “We are taking steps to ensure that children continue to learn, despite the shutting down if schools. To facilitate remote learning, we are planning to distribute tablets to 25,000 class eleven students.”