FM Sitharaman in Sikkim to oversee VVP Scheme

The Union Cabinet has granted ₹4,800 crore for the Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP), a centrally sponsored initiative for the period 2022-23 to 2025-26, which will be implemented in 19 districts and 46 border blocks in four states and one union territory (UT). Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the scheme while presenting the Budget for 2022-23.

Sitharaman during her visit to Sikkim, stated on Tuesday that although the VVP covers 19 districts and 46 border blocks, she will personally oversee the progress in Lachen, Sikkim. “I have opted to go to Lachen and will devote my time to ensure that all amenities are available in the border villages,” she stated while speaking at a credit outreach event in Gangtok.

According to the minister, the government is focusing heavily on developing “aspiring” villages located near the northern international borders, commonly referred to as Vibrant Villages. These villages are in close proximity to the borders, resulting in migration to the plains due to a lack of amenities and opportunities.

The minister added that the government has taken significant measures to ensure that the benefits of development are accessible to these villages. The government’s approach involves providing all welfare programs or “development through saturation” to every individual living in the area and ensuring that they have access to all necessary common amenities such as roads, optical fiber connectivity, wellness centers, schools, panchayat places, and common service centers.

In addition, Sitharaman stated that ministers have been requested to visit villages located near the border to prevent migration and ensure that they are not isolated.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman makes a stop over at 225 Transit Camp of Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) and interacts with soldiers in Thangu Valley, known as the Gateway to Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim, on Wednesday. (Source: @nsitharaman, Twitter)
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