April 15, 2024

Delhi support for Arunachal orchid, bamboo soon

TAP | Updated: May 31, 2017

NEW DELHI, May 31: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday urged the Centre for establishment of a regional centre for orchid and a centre of excellence for horticulture in view of the huge untapped potential in horticulture and orchid cultivation.

Khandu along with Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju called on Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh at Krishi Bhavan here and discussed issues pertaining to agriculture and allied sectors in the state, a report from the CMO said.

The chief minister urged Singh to consider setting up a Bamboo Board on the lines of Spices Board, Coffee Board and Tea Board for which he offered to provide land in the state.

Khandu observed that Arunachal Pradesh, which has the highest bamboo resource in the country with about 75 species, would benefit a lot with setting up of a board that would help link bamboo-based industries directly with the livelihood of the local communities.

Highlighting the problems faced by the state government due to non-release of funds against Hill Transport Scheme (HTS) since years, Khandu appealed Singh, who also holds the portfolio of Food and Public Distribution, to resolve the issue urgently.

“Trust that the matter will receive your serious attention and kindly appreciate the urgency and compulsion of the state government to comply with various court orders for settlement of HTS bills as one time grant so that all outstanding issues are settled once for all,” Khandu said.

Singh appreciated the concerns raised by the chief minister and assured support from his ministry.

“The day I became the agriculture minister in 2014, I really wanted to do something for Arunachal Pradesh but the ups and downs in the state did not give me the chance. Now that we have a stable BJP government in the state led by a young chief minister, I can go ahead with my plans and give a boost to the sector,” he said.

Singh said that funds have been sanctioned for establishment of one multi-technology testing centre and a vocational training centre for agriculture and allied sectors in the state and committed to lay the foundation stones by August.

Assuring support for the College of Horticulture and Forestry in East Siang’s Pasighat, Singh said that establishment of a centre of excellence for orchid in the state was on the cards. He asked the state government to submit a proposal with DPR and by taking it in its annual action plan for 2017-18.

The minister, who was at Dhemaji in Assam on May 26 last for laying of foundation stone for an Agriculture Research Centre by the Prime Minister, said the orchid centre would be situated just along the boundary of Arunachal Pradesh.

“I am sure your state will benefit the most from the orchid centre,” he observed.

To an appeal by the chief minister for continued support to the state’s Mission Organic, Singh revealed that his ministry has been regularly releasing money for the mission. He requested the state government to submit the utilisation certificates (UC) for releasing more funds up to Rs 12 crore for 2017-18. Singh reiterated that money was not a problem.

Admitting lack of interaction and immediate resolution of issues between the ministry and state government officials, the Union minister proposed to visit the state along with all his officials and hold a meeting with the state government officials. This way, problems would be resolved on the spot, he said.

On the HTS (PDS) issue raised by the chief minister as well as Rijiju, Singh called his officials to the meeting and took stock of the latest status.

When informed that the issue has been pending due to certain differences between Food Corporation of India and the state government with regard to submission of bills, Singh directed his officials to personally go to Arunachal Pradesh and resolve the issues within 15 days.

“Sending correspondences after correspondences and seeking clarifications after clarifications will only lengthen the issue that could have been resolved in a day or two by sitting face to face,” he pointed out.

For the Bamboo Mission, Singh sought submission of UCs on time for continuous support from his ministry. He informed that a cabinet note has already been issued for sanction of funds in this regard.

While top officials of the ministry were present in the meeting, the Resident Commissioner and Secretary to CM accompanied the chief minister, the report added.