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Budget to be based on pan-Aruchal concept: Khandu

From Our Correspondent

Itagar, Feb 14: Chief Minister Pema Khandu along with Deputy Chief Minister Chow Mein on Monday held a pre-budget consultative meeting with various Community Based Organizations (CBOs) towards an inclusive and comprehensive budget preparation for the year 2017-18.

The budget, touted to be most innovative so far, is proposed to be placed in the State Legislative Assembly which is scheduled from March 6 to 15 next, an official report informed here today.

 “Ours is a unique state with diverse cultures and distinct needs. It is the endeavour of the state government to be innovative in preparation of the state budget by incorporating genuine suggestions and concerns of all communities of the state.

Khandu reiterated that change cannot be made overnight but a start has to be made and assured that the ‘start’ would begin with this year’s budget. “This year’s budget will be based on a pan-Aruchal concept,” he assured. Giving a background on the new concept, Mein, who will be presenting the budget 2017-18 as the Fince Minister, informed that budget would be prepared in an altogether different mode from this year.

Mein informed that there would only be State Annual Development Agenda (SADA) under BE and hence no State Development Council (SDC) meet would be held to filize budgetary proposals.  While appreciating the Chief Minister and his Deputy, the CBOs unimously expressed gratitude and affirmed that such a gesture from the government would pave way in creating a holistic developmental path for the state as even minor communities, who do not have representations in the government, will have their say in decision making.

AITF suggested that the state Education department could be divided into 2-3 divisions headed by one Joint or Zol Director to strictly and efficiently mage the affairs of schools.  On the other hand, TLCDS suggested introduction of science and commerce streams in at least five colleges of the state spread across the state. WCS too sought requisite infrastructure and teachers in all upgraded schools while TWS opined to close defunct schools for want of students and establish schools for a cluster of villages instead. The GWS while lauding the decision of the government to recruit teachers through APPSC suggested establishment of ITIs in every district to equip youths with employable skills. Connectivity was another sector that all the CBOs wanted the government to work upon.

The AITF too suggested the government to go tough on the land compensation issue for speedy construction of the TAH while seeking budgetary allocations for a road connecting the foothills of the state bordering neighbouring states. While ABK called for establishment of divisiol commissioners offices to eastern part of Aruchal for better administration, TSD called for development of Ziro and Yachuli into a tourist destition under one umbrella. AES and IMCLS sought provisions for preservation, propagation, research and documentation of indigenous dialects and cultural traditions like those of minor communities such as Buguns and Akas of East Kameng and institutions like the Idu Mishmi priests. GWS suggested training of pharmacists and health assistants of remote health centers so that they can take care of minor ailments in the doctor’s absence. On the tourism front all the CBOs agreed that importance should be given to all the districts of the state as ‘Aruchal as a whole is a highly rated tourist destition’. They suggested doing away with creation of infrastructure at unviable places and concentrate on select places where tourists frequen.

The CBOs also insisted on emphasizing on agriculture and horticulture and providing farmers with incentives, cold storages, fruit processing centres and good marketing outlets.

SEWA and CALSOM also wanted a government policy to curb ‘ganja’ and opium cultivation. They suggested introduction of horticulture crops with incentives as an alterte besides establishment of de-addiction centres with all facilities. In his closing remarks, the Chief Minister assured that most of the suggestions submitted would be incorporated in the current budget. Expressing satisfaction over the interaction that lasted for about three hours, he further suggested similar meetings in the future, the report added.