Tripura govt to seek Rs 8,389 crore package from Centre for tribal development

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Agartala, January 4: In an apparent move to woo people the 19 tribal communities of the state, Tripura’s BJP-IPFT government has decided to seek a special package of Rs 8,389.71 crores from the Centre for socio-economic, cultural and linguistic development of the tribal people.
Speaking to the press Friday, State Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said that a cabinet meeting held Tuesday directed all departments to present an overall estimate of funds required for tribal development.
“We have integrated these estimates put forth by different departments and have decided to seek a comprehensive package of Rs 8389.71 crore for tribal welfare from the central government. The state cabinet has approved the proposal and it will now be placed before the Centre,” Nath said.
He added that the tribal communities remained backwards since no previous government took initiative for their development. He also said the package, which would be sought from the Centre, would address all aspects of their all-round development.
Prior to state assembly elections in February last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh had assured Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), to form a high power modality committee which would probe socio-economic, cultural and linguistic problems of the tribals in the state. IPFT is now an ally in the state government with BJP.
IPFT was formed in the late 1990s with the demand of a separate state for tribals. The party, which suffered several splits, resurfaced in 2009 under NC Debbarma, who is now the revenue minister in Tripura. Though the tribal party has stuck to its demand for separate statehood, BJP made it clear that it would not support the agenda.
The modality committee recently sought to know the state government’s view before suggesting a plan for developing tribal communities here. (Courtesy: IE)