‘Govt to allocate funds for tribal welfare proportionate to their population’

CS Arun Kumar
CS Arun Kumar File/ GK

Srinagar: Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta Monday chaired the meeting of the State Executive Committee (SEC) for Tribal Plan and UT Level Coordination Committee meeting for approval of several tribal development projects and initiatives apart from a mandatory formulation of Tribal Sub-Plan in all sectors.

An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that the chief secretary asked the departments to

ensure 100 percent saturation under various schemes by covering all tribal families and ensure benefit reaches the migratory population.

The CS directed all the departments to formulate Tribal Sub-Plan out of their overall budget allocation in consultation with Tribal Affairs Department and conduct regular outcome evaluations to ensure that gaps in welfare and development of the tribal population were promptly redressed.

This is the first time that all departments in J&K would be formulating Tribal Sub-Plans.

The departments would allocate specific funding for tribal villages under CSS, CapEx, NABARD, loan component, and other special schemes.

It was decided that funds proportionate to the tribal population in J&K should be earmarked specifically by all the departments and districts under both centrally-sponsored schemes and UT CapEx for focused development in tribal villages.

Special emphasis would be laid on beneficiary-oriented schemes and welfare infrastructure with priority to road connectivity, power supply, drinking water, healthcare, and education.

The SEC approved a plan for 134 tribal villages to be developed under the Pradhan Mantri Aadi Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAAGY) as model villages during the current financial year for which Gap Funding of Rs 20 lakh and village would be released by the Tribal Affairs Departments while all other departments would converge by allocating 43 percent of their Scheduled Tribe Component (STC) under the centrally-sponsored scheme.

District Planning and Monitoring Committee (DPMC) headed by DCs and Block Level Committees headed by Chairperson and Block Development Council would monitor implementation.

DDC members would be special invitees to the DPMC meeting.

Tribal Research Institute has been assigned the task of capacity building and planning.

In another landmark initiative, the UTLCC approved a Rs 45 crore grant for the establishment of 4500 tribal Self-Help Groups to benefit 90,000 members of tribal families directly.

Further, Rs 10 crore for warehousing and marketing facilities were also approved.

In another significant move, the Tribal Affairs Department proposed a Rs 25 crore project for providing mechanical shearing machines, skilling, the establishment of wool collection centres, and setting up facilities for sorting, grading, and marketing of wool aimed at benefitting more than 30,000 sheep farmers.

The SEC approved and recommended the project for funding.

The SEC also reviewed the functions of the J&K EMRS Society.

It was informed that six model residential schools had been operationalised over the last year.

It considered and approved to recommend the establishment of 10 new Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) for which land had been earmarked.

These include Shopian district headquarters, Gandoh in Doda, Tral in Pulwama, Khwas and Budhal in Rajouri, Surankote in Poonch, Padder in Kishtwar, Mahore in Reasi, Kangan in Ganderbal, Kalaroos in Kupwara.

The department also proposed residential schools for Bani, Ramnagar, Kulgam, and Poonch.

Earlier, the Secretary of the Tribal Affairs Department made a detailed presentation elaborating on various proposals including a Tribal Sub-Plan of Rs 976 crore and Rs 154 crore to be earmarked by the departments and districts out of their CapEx, earmarking of Scheduled Tribe Component under CSS, Tribal-Wool Project, Tribal SHGs, Model Schools, and transit facilities.

Principal Secretary Jal Shakti Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary PWD Shailendra Kumar, Principal Secretary Higher Education Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary School Education Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary Skill Development Asgar Samoon, Commissioner Secretaries Sanjeev Verma (Forests), Sourabh Bhagat (S&T), Mandeep Kour (RDD), Sheetal Nanda (Social Welfare), Secretaries Yasha Mudgal (Cooperatives), Sarmad Hafeez (Tourism and Youth Services and Sports), Bhupinder Kumar (Health and Medical Education), Managing Directors, Directors and Chief Engineers of all the departments attended the meeting.

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