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Tribal body suggests 4-point peace mantra for Manipur
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, June 16 2012: In order to bring peace and tranquility in Manipur, All Manipur Tribals Union (AMTU) has suggested four points to the Government of Manipur in the form of a memorandum submitted to the Minister of Tribal Development and Hills recently.

"It is implored that in order to bridge the gap in the socio-economic development of Manipur tribals and to pluck the loopholes in implementation of tribal sub plan certain action plans are suggested," the AMTU said in the memorandum signed by its general secretary Romeo Bungdon, secretary of public affairs R Wilson Gangmei and one of its executive member Thuisingam.

One suggestion has been that a separate account for tribal sub-plan be opened and its funds be earmarked as it is done in Sikkim state government.

The second one is that the tribal Development department be exclusively made the nodal agency for tribal sub plan and a certain percentage of the fund be sanctioned under job card system similar to MGNREGS to enable to reach the target common tribal people and bigger chunk of the funds be emphasised on agriculture (with fencing components to facilitate round the year cultivation), horticulture and cattle rearing as these are the sole socio-economic means for the Manipur tribals and also similar size of fund for various education sectors.

Another suggestion put before the concerned minister is that the tribal sub plan be made non divertible and ombudsmen be appointed to regulate the transparency of its fund execution and implementation.

It lastly suggested that the directorate office of Tribal Development be provided the post of chief engineer similar to those of Manipur Development Society and Manipur Police Housing Co-operation since the Tribal Development department is vast.

More engineering posts be created and more tribal engineers be accommodated including at district levels to augment the practical development of the tribal areas through the department with such entitled funds which will create job opportunity and enhance basic amenity developments as well.

"We shall be highly grateful if anticipated and necessary measures are taken as the matter is seriously affecting the peaceful co-existence between tribals and non-tribals in the spectrum of equal privilege as the tribals are lagging behind to far extent which has been the reason for social embroils like bandhs and economic blockades in frustration," AMTU memorandum prays.

Giving the background, AMTU said the Manipur tribal people have been marginalised concerning their development facilities, as against their feeble socio-economy.

In such type of weak mechanism of development for them due to manipulation of fund flow system meant for tribals coupled with topographical terrains, many schemes and funds entitled for tribals can never reach the target people.

This is a matter of serious concern indeed, AMTU added.

"That, as a matter of fact, the fund flow of tribal sub-plan from the Union government of tribal affairs had and has been diverted to other non-tribal areas mostly in the valley districts as we suspected.

As such, Right to Information was filed to the chief secretary of Manipur.

However, no relevant information has been provided so far.

Incidentally, it was published in some local newspapers on August 1 last year by one tribal elder that the Tribal Sub Plan for the fiscal year 2010-11 has been kept under the state head-8449 but the rest process is not known.

Similarly, on May 22, 2012 Federation of All Tribal Youth Clubs Manipur (FATYCM) in their press conference published in the local dailies that an amount to the tune of Rs 7 crores meant for medical fund under Tribal Development 2008-09 had been delivered for Airport expansion.

So it is obvious that something has gone wrong somewhere for the funds entitled for the Manipur tribals.

Information on such funds matters are also being twisted and made purposely obscure for poor tribals who are turned down helplessly," the tribal body alleged.

It then said the basic objective of the Tribal Sub Plan is to channelise the flow of the outlays and benefits from the general sectors in the plan of the state for the development of the scheduled tribes at least in proportion to their population both in physical and financial terms.

However, in the context of Manipur, no specific appraisals of working of Tribal Sub Plan were made so far, it further stated.


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