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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government Saturday decided to create a new department to strengthen the self help groups in the State.

The new department will work for SHG & their federations both in rural and urban areas, Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti Minister Tukuni Sahu said.

The decision to set up the 'Mission Shakti' department was taken at the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during the day, Sahu said.

As announced by the chief minister on March 8, 2020, the new department will help to go a long way in strengthening the self help group initiatives already undertaken by departments and agencies and bring it all under one platform, provide greater focus, synergy and avoid duplication in activities, she said in a video message.

The new department will help to ensure linkages at all levels and establish effective interactive platform for the community and the government for strengthening of SHG movement across the state, the minister said.

This will avoid conflict of command, ensure better service delivery and effective monitoring, optimum utilisation of human resources besides improving linear administrative mechanism for SHGs and their federation network, she said.

The new department will be the single point of contact by external stakeholders. All the existing administrative control and manpower under the department of Mission Shakti, directorate of Mission Shakti and Odisha Livelihood Mission will come under the new department.

The other major decisions taken at the meeting include construction of ten mega rural pipe water supply schemes, a rural pipe water scheme for 26 gram panchayats of Sambalpur district and two gram panchayats of Jharsuguda district.

Besides, the cabinet sanctioned the lease of 25 acres for construction of one satellite center of AIIMS at Remuna Tahasil of Balasore district.

Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra said the cabinet has approved amendment of Odisha Lokayukta Act, 2014 and given the nod for the construction of 2X500 MVA, 400/220/33 KV GIS sub- station at Paradip along with associated lines over a period of three years from 2020-21.

It also approved the proposal to allow Odisha Mining Corporation Limited to sell the entire quantity of bauxite ore meant for sale through national e-auction for 2020-21 to LTL (less than load) supplier only at the rate of Rs 1000 per MT.

There will be subsequent undertaking to pay the differential rate as stipulated by Orissa High Court.

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