Khandu urged centre to set up Bamboo and Cofee Board in Arunachal

Chief Minister Pema Khandu sought for Khandu sought establishment of a Regional Centre for Orchid and a Centre of Excellence for horticulture, setting up of Bamboo Board, and  Coffee Board in  Arunachal.

New Delhi 

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khanud  urged the Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh to consider setting up a Bamboo Board on the lines of Spices Board, Coffee Board and Tea Board in for which he offered to provide land in the Arunachal. He 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 the Board that would facilitate bamboo processing facilities for linking bamboo sector directly with the livelihood of the local communities.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu along with MoS Home Kiren Rijiju today called on Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh at Krishi Bhavan here today and discussed issues concerning the state in agriculture and allied sectors.

Considering the huge untapped potential in Arunachal Pradesh, especially in horticulture and orchid cultivation, Khandu sought establishment of a Regional Centre for Orchid and a Centre of Excellence for horticulture.

Highlighting the problems faced by the state government due to non-release of funds against Hill Transport Scheme (HTS) since years, Khandu appealed the Union Minister, 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,” he said.

Singh appreciated the concerns raised by the Chief Minister and assured all out 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 informed 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 next.

Assuring that the College of Horticulture and Forestry (Pasighat) will be strengthened, he also informed that establishment of a Centre of Excellence for orchid in the state is 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 Union Minister, who was at Dhemaji (Assam) on May 26th for laying of foundation stone for an Agriculture Research Centre by the Prime Minister, informed the Centre will be situated just along the boundary of Arunachal Pradesh.

“It’s like the Centre has been established for Arunachal Pradesh! I am sure your state will benefit the most from the Centre,” he observed.

To an appeal by the chief minister for continued support to the state’s Mission Organic, Singh revealed that the ministry has been regularly releasing money for the mission. He requested the state government to submit the utilization certificates (UC) so that the ministry can release more funds up to Rs 12 crore for 2017-18. Singh reiterated that money is 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 the MoS Home, Singh, who very recently took over the charge of Food and Public Distribution, called up his officials to the meeting and took stock of the latest status.

When informed that that the issue is pending due to certain differences between the 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.

Meanwhile, for the Bamboo Mission too, 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.