Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal claimed that State Government had carved out nine percent of its annual budgetary provisions for spending over concentrated development of tribal areas by formulating a separate Tribal Sub-Plan to achieve the objective. Chief Minister stated it in the State Level 13th Gaddi Kalyan Board Meeting held here today. He said that Gaddi and Gujjar communities were residing in non-tribal areas, while both the communities fall in the Tribal categories and were eligible to avail all benefits due to the tribals in the State. He said that there were 690 villages dominated by tribal communities in Chamba and Kangra districts alone. He said that with a view to give boost to the developmental activities, basic amenities infrastructure was being strengthened by providing them road, education, health, electricity, drinking water and irrigation facilities.
Chief Minister said that the State Government had launched ‘Bhed Palak Samridhi Yojna’ aimed at strengthening the traditional avocation of sheep rearing. He said that the State Government had been providing a soft loan of upto Rs. 1.00 lakh to each beneficiary which consisted of 33 percent subsidy to purchase of 40 sheep and two rams of quality species so that it could benefit the community in strengthening their economy. He said that the scheme would also motivate young educated members of the community to revert back to their parental occupation. Large numbers of members of the community were coming forward to avail benefit under the scheme. He appealed to the members of the community to popularize the scheme amongst the beneficiaries so that maximum number of people could avail its benefits.
Chief minister said that the State Government was endeavoring to generate economic activities for tribal population at their door steps by providing them skill up-gradation training under different programmes. He said that unemployed tribal women were being provided one year training in handicrafts and handlooms and were being paid a monthly scholarship of Rs. 950, besides providing them looms and other allied equipments free of cost on completion of the training so that they could adopt weaving as their income generating avocation. He said that the State Government was also providing remunerative prices over the purchase of wool from shepherds. He said that the designated agency of Woolfed was procuring wool by paying a subsidy of Rs. 35 per kg., during Summer Season; Rs. 55 per kg., during Spring Season and Rs. 25.50 per kg., during Winter season. He said that Rs. 30 lakh Revolving Fund had been created to strengthen the Woolfed, so that remunerative cash prices were ensured to the sheep rearers at designated procurement centres. Additionally, the State Government was also providing 15 percent subsidy as Annual Market Development Assistance to the WOOLFED as handling charges.
Chief Minister said that the State Government was pursuing the construction of Holi-Uttarala tunnel project seriously as the feasibility detailed project report and geological survey report was under preparation by a competent tunnel boring company which was likely to be completed by middle of current calendar year. He said that with the receipt of detailed project and survey report, construction work would be started immediately thereafter.
Chief Minister directed all Deputy Commissioners to take effective steps to remove encroachments from Government land. He said that the State Government had made legal provisions to ensure that competent authority issues Scheduled Tribe Certificate to Tribals which would be permanent and valued for life long. He assured residents of Banni Village in Bhatiyat area of District Chamba of road connectivity subject to availability of private land for the purpose. He said that avocation specific schemes had been envisioned and launched for the benefit of the community. He said that grazing permit system was simplified and tents provided to them.
Chief Minister said that with a view to boost educational activities, State Government was providing free text books, education, pre and post matric scholarships, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for M.Phil/Ph.D. scholars and Pre-Examination Coaching facilities etc. He said that 13 tribal hostels, at a cost of Rs. 20.61 crore, had been constructed in different universities, colleges and ITIs in the State to provide them congenial academic atmosphere. He said that Tribal Bhawans had also been constructed for the community at Kullu, Mandi, Shimla and Chamba and additionally one such Bhawan was under construction at a cost of Rs. 68 lakh at Dari near Dharamshala.
Tribal Development Minister Khimi Ram Sharma said that speedy Development had been ensured under dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. He said that speedy and balanced development of Tribal, Scheduled Castes and Backward areas had been ensured during past four years resulting into connecting communities with main-stream of life.
Trilok Kapoor, Chairman, Woolfed thanked Chief Minister for envisioning Bhed Palak Samridhi Yojana for the benefit of shepherds to upgrade traditional avocation of sheep rearing. He said that 5000 rams of best species would be purchased for breed improvement. He thanked for providing tents to shepherds. He said that 20000 shepherds had been registered with the woolfed. He also thanked for providing Rs. six crores for development of grazing pastures to facilitate the members of the community. Dr. P.C.Kapoor, Principal Secretary, Tribal Development welcomed the Chief Minister and conducted the proceedings of the meeting.
Kishan Kapoor, Industries Minister, Rajwant Sandhu, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Special Secretaries, Heads of various departments, Deputy Commissioners and Non-Official members of the board were present in the meeting.