Centre urged for policy interventions to redress issues concerning Himalayan States Mein propose financial incentives for ‘carbon sinking’ region

Centre urged for policy interventions to redress issues concerning Himalayan States Mein propose financial incentives for ‘carbon sinking’ region

SHIMLA, Oct 5: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein while highlighting the potentials of agriculture and issues faced by Arunachal Pradesh similar to other states in the Himalayan region called for some policy interventions to redress these issues and asked to place it before the Central Govt for implementation.

This call was made by the Dy CM, who attended a Conclave of Himalayan States on ‘Well being of the next generation of Himalayan people’, jointly hosted by the Integrated Mountain Initiative, Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology & Environment and Shoolini University here today.

Participating in the Conclave, Mein highlighted the potentials of agriculture and issues faced by this Himalayan state similar to other mountain states in the Himalayan region. He advocated some policy interventions to redress these issues and requested the Organizers to place it before the Central Govt for implementation.

Seeking separate planning process/body for mountain states by Ministry of Agriculture/NITI Aayog and create a separate division to deal with agriculture planning, programming and implementation guidelines for the mountain states.

He also proposed financial incentives/ separate budget allocation for agricultural growth based on ecological-service saying that mountain states are the major carbon sink in India due to huge area under forests cover.

He said, “Government of India or world bodies should give financial incentives to mountain states based on forest cover maintained by each state for providing alternate livelihood to farmers in place of shifting cultivation so that the current area under forest could be maintained or enhanced further.”

He also advocated for setting up of State Farmer’s Commission citing that agriculture situations in mountain states differ from mainland and each mountain state may have SFC to make in-depth analysis of deficiency in planning for agriculture development, gaps between resource availability and utilization and mandated to recommend measures to address the identified issues.

He also sought for Agriculture Innovative fund saying “a separate corpus fund may be created to take care of situation specific research and R&D intervention needed from time to time, local initiatives through Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, etc which is effective at addressing problems at local level involving State’s own research organizations, KVK etc at district, block and village level to evolve strategies at micro-level”.

He suggested that such funds may be earmarked from funds allocated to Agriculture Research and Extension provided to ICAR.

He said, “If mountain agriculture is to develop, certain autonomy of planning and finance to mountain states as proposed may be a prudent policy decision.”

Citing that connectivity and accessibility plays a major role in development of agri & allied sectors and it needs an immediate attention in the State to provide market linkages. He said that the PMGSY roads play an important role in linking the rural villages and the farm land.

Stating that the State of Arunachal Pradesh have long networks of 6792.97 Km PMGSY roads worth Rs 6176.17 crore constructed over the years, Mein said, however, due to non-provision of maintenance fund for PMGSY roads by the Govt of India, its maintenance is a big burden to the State like Arunachal Pradesh as we have to incur huge expenditure in the maintenance of State Highways and roads due to hilly terrains frequented with floods and landslides.

He requested the Govt of India to allocate Rs 60-70 crore per annum for the maintenance of PMGSY roads in the State.

Speaking as one of the panelists on Hydro Power Projects in the Himalayan States, Dy CM said that the Arunachal Pradesh can provide the balancing power source if Govt of India favours some special dispensations for various hydro projects being developed in the State.

He felt that development of around 47000 MW allotted projects in Arunachal Pradesh will contribute significantly in achieving India’s commitment for 33-35% reduction in carbon emission by 2030 and will help meet the target to raise the share of zero carbon emission electricity generating capacity to 40% of the total by 2030.

He said that to harness the 58,160 MW power potential of the State which constitutes 39% of the total hydro power potential assessed in the country, necessary changes in the Energy Policy of Govt of India are need of the hour and requested the forum to include in their road map and urged to pursue it through NITI Aayog. He suggested 11 points to be proposed to the Central Govt.

Among others, Union Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat and Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur also spoke, said an official release.

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