Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA)
The MBDA (Meghalaya Basin Development Authority) was set up in April, 2012. It is headed by the Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya. The MBDA has identified that natural resources and river basins provide ideal opportunities for providing multi-livelihoods to people in the rural areas. It is no secret that the poorer sections of the rural community have hardly had a stake in the village economy. They have often been left out of the loop of development and this has pushed them to the brink of impoverishment. For mere survival, they have had to exploit the environment around them to eke out a bare subsistence. They have barely been able to voice the grievances that they have to live with each day. MBDA seeks out to redress these problems and lend a voice to those that have not been heard. Not only is the MBDA concerned with poverty alleviation but in order to achieve this it must make sure that it done without degradation to the environment. A livelihood thus comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources), and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base.
The rural population of the state seek their livelihood support from natural resources and depend heavily on it. This, however, has had a very obvious drawback. Environmental degradation! Increased need and unsustainable resource utilization has pushed back the boundaries of our forests and churned our clear stream into muddy water. Strategies to cope with climate change are the need of the hour. A broad platform of better governance and a high level of community participation must be set up to create new and holistic initiatives to address the problem of unchecked deforestation, mining and water pollution. An informed choice must be made and that choice is getting grass root level stakeholders, Government Departments, Organisations, Civil Society and Traditional Institutions to come together for improving the well-being and quality of life of the people. Effective planning, appropriate and timely interventions and adequate investment should happen through a better synergy of all the stakeholders. The MBDA (Meghalaya Basin Development Authority) had been set up with the express purpose to address such matters.
Available opportunities must be taken to promote enterprise along the value chain. This not only enhances the economics of the village community as a whole but it also protects the minor farmers from grave exploitation. This two pronged effects is clearly what MBDA is trying to implement through the various programmes that fall under it specifically, the IBDLP (Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion Programme). It is of the notion that each member of the village community must be a stakeholder irrespective of his wealth or position in the hierarchy. The MBDA is thus responsible for the strategies taken and directing the overall implementation of the IBDLP programme.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- To sustainably develop the river basin resources, which shall ultimately lead to promoting the sustainable livelihood and gainful employment opportunities for the residents of river basins, independent or through the convergence of initiatives? To, without any motives to earn profit, enhance and improve the livelihood for the poor in the state of Meghalaya.
- To increase sustainable income generating cultivation systems and establishment of micro/small scale/ medium scale bio-industrial units.
- To enable people’s participation to select livelihood activities most suited to their resources, skills and interest.
- To address the felt needs and priorities of women and increase their participation in local institutions and decision making process.
- To promote micro finance including saving and thrift and micro insurance projects.
- To provide business development service including demonstration, training, consultancy and advisory service on all matters relating to technical, organisational, management commencement and expansion of the enterprise, purchasing techniques, production, purchases, sales, material and cost, quality control, marketing, advertising, publicity, personnel’ information technology services, development and transfer, backward and forward business linkage promotion and horizontal linkage among enterprises, export and import to and for institutions/concerns/bodies/associations/corporations/public and local authorities/trusts/cooperative societies.
- To help in promoting sustainable enterprises at micro and small scale especially to the poor by way of providing equity, debt financing, leasing, insurance and other means and mechanisms that may be necessary for promoting livelihoods on the basis of basin resources.
- To rotate and utilize the resources of the authority for ongoing building up of new enterprises by exciting the enterprises that have achieved the sustainable scale and viability, through appropriate mechanisms.
- To act as a catalyst in facilitating mobilization of financial resources to micro/small/medium scale enterprises to benefit the poor.
Framework programmes are an essential element in the functioning of the MBDA. Through these frameworks, services are delivered. This not only streamlines the implementation of the different programmes that fall under the ambit of the MBDA but it also helps in identifying any gaps in the delivery of such services provided by other departments in the Government. The central framework, however, is knowledge management. Knowledge management seeks to promote a union of traditional knowledge and science. Any approach towards amelioration of the rural community must be holistic in approach. This not only empowers the village community but it also act as a continuum between the old and the new, the traditional and the modern.
Another important function of the MBDA is to fill the critical gaps that exist between the functioning of different governmental departments. Department convergence is an issue that is being addressed by MBDA so as to allow for smooth and efficient effectuation of any government schemes. One of the main objectives of the Basin Development Programme is to provide integrated services.
To aid in the implementation of the IBDLP programme, the MBDA has set up certain pioneering institutes such as MIE (Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship), MIG (Meghalaya Institute of Governance) and MINR (Meghalaya Institute of Natural resources). Each institute functions in unison with the MBDA.
The greatest success that the programme has witnessed till date has been the vigorous involvement and participation of different stakeholders and this has only reinforced the belief in the hope that the aspirations of all shall ultimately be met.
- Chief Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Chairman)
- Additional Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Member) | Labour and Soil and Water Conservation Department
- Additional Chief Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Member) | Finance/Power Department
- Principal Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Member) | Planning Department
- Principal Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Member) | Forest Department
- Commissioner to and Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Member) | Public Health Engineering Department
- Commissioner to and Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Member) | Forest and Environment Department, Planning Department
- Commissioner to and Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Member) | Agriculture/Fisheries Department.
- Commissioner to and Secretary to the Govt. Of Meghalaya (Member) | Personnel Department