Srinagar, June 29: Jammu and Kashmir Government will be spending around Rs 120 crore on various programmes aimed at the welfare of the tribal population in the State. This would include Rs 100 crore earmarked by the Government of India under Tribal Sub-Plan and Rs 20 crore to be provided by the State Government under the capex budget.
This information was given at a high level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti here today to review the implementation of the Tribal Action Plan.
Vice-Chairman Gujjar and Bakerwal Advisory Board, Choudhary Zafar Ali, Chief Secretary, Mr B R Sharma, Financial Commissioner, Planning & Development, Mr B B Vyas and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr Navin Kumar Choudhary were present at the meeting.
The meeting was informed that 10 tribal cluster model villages would be developed in the State under the Tribal Action Plan with an investment of around Rs 5 crore in each cluster. The programme is aimed at bridging infrastructure gaps in tribal areas with focus on education and healthcare and creating sustainable employment avenues for tribal population.
The other components of the Action Plan include providing safe drinking water, irrigation, electricity, all weather roads and housing facilities in the selected clusters.
The meeting was informed that out of the proposed allocation of Rs 100 crore under Tribal Sub Plan, Rs 3 crore each would be spent on infrastructure building in education sector and Rs 2.50 crore each in health sector in every cluster village. Besides, Rs 5 crore each are being spent for completion of Eklavya Model Residential Schools in Kulgam and Anantnag.
The other components of the Tribal Sub Plan include, Rs 15 crore allocation for construction of 16 new tribal hostels and repair and renovation of existing hostels, Rs 10 crore for skill training of tribal youth, Rs 3 crore for development of tourism infrastructure, Rs 2 crore for construction of Centre of Excellence and Rs 5 crore support to SC/ST/OBC Corporation.
The meeting was informed that a Tribal Research Institute (TRI) is also being established in the State.
Speaking at the meeting the Chief Minister said empowerment of women, creation of better economic opportunities, improved road connectivity and good infrastructure in various social sectors should be the focus of the tribal development plan.
She said the focus of the Government’s tribal action plan is aimed at enhancing capacity for growth, enhancing skills and faster generation of employment, managing the environment, providing markets for efficiency and inclusion, transfer of technology and innovation, securing the energy future, improved access to quality education and better preventive and curative healthcare.
On the employment front, the Chief Minister called for creation of more employment avenues through productivity enhancement in agriculture, tourism and handicraft sectors. She also called for increase in animal husbandry and dairy based activities, quality skill training for tribal youth, development of modern, scientific and technical facilities, and linking them to tribal youth for increased livelihood opportunities with preference to be given to women-headed households. She said the Tribal Affairs Department should give smokeless Chullahs to tribal women to prevent them from various health hazards and ensure capacity building of the mobile schools.
The Chief Minister stressed the need for formulating a cost-effective and implementable template of development for the model cluster villages so that the same could be replicated in all these clusters. She called for development of identified economic activities through cluster based approach and market linkage and value addition to local natural resources for higher returns to tribal families.
Ms Mehbooba, who also heads the Tribal Affairs Ministry, also launched the user-friendly dedicated website of the Department.
Principal Secretary Agriculture Production, Mr Sandeep Kumar Nayak, Commissioner Secretary Tribal Affairs Department, Mr Saurav Baghat, Commissioner Secretary, Science & Technology, Mr Vinod Koul, Commissioner Secretary Education, Mr Shailen Kabra, Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education, Dr M K Bhandari, Secretary Youth Services and Sports, Mr Hilal Ahmad Parray, Director Rural Development Kashmir, Mr Tassaduq Jeelani, District Development Commissioners and other officers of the Tribal Affairs Department were also present in the meeting.
Pertinently, the Government of India has announced a major hike in the fund allocation to Jammu and Kashmir under the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) this year.
The almost five-fold increase in allocation under TSP to J&K has been made by the Government of India on the intervention of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who also holds the charge of Tribal Affairs Department. The State would now get an allocation of Rs 100 crore under TSP, which is the highest ever J&K has got.