By L.S. Herdenia
BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has taken two major initiatives which will go a long way in the development of the state.
One such initative relates to Tribals. Madhya Pradesh perhaps has the privilege of being the state having the largest Tribal population. Firstly Kamal Nath announced 9th August as ‘Tribal Day’ and a state level holiday. Several cultural programmes were organised on this occasion. He himself chose Chhindwara, his home constituency to make several announcements, showering benefits on Tribals who are still living below poverty line. One of such decision is that loans taken by Tribals from private money lenders have been waived. Such decision was also taken during emergency but was forgotten after sometime. Besides loan waiver Nath promised to give Tribals a debit card with which they can withdraw up to Rs. 10,000 from ATMs.
“The loans taken by rivals from money-lenders will be waived by the state government in all Tribal blocks of the state. It will benefit 1.5 crore Tribals” said Nath while addressing a state level function at his constituency in Chhindwara. “We have made all necessary arrangements for rolling out the scheme and the loans will start getting waived from August 15 in all 89 ST (tribal) blocks. There will also be efforts to get back the jewelry and land transferred to money lenders as collateral” Nath said during the function.
The Chief Minister also informed that now whoever wants to lend a loan will have to take a moneylender’s license. He warned if someone is found operating without license in scheduled areas, it would amount to violation of the rules and the Tribals would then not have to repay the loan amount. Nath also informed about converting the forest villages into revenue villages. Besides, the department or Scheduled Tribes will now be known as Tribal Development Department. Notably 89 blocks of 19 districts of the state are Schedulde Tribe areas where Tribals reside.
Honoring the tradition associated with birth and death in tribal society, Nath launched “Chief Minister’s Assistance Scheme” under which a tribal family would be given 50 kg of grain (rice/wheat on birth of a child. Similarly one quintal rice or wheat will be given by the government in case of demise in the family. They will also be given utensils for community’s ritualistic feasts. In a bid to provide better education and sports opportunities to tribal kids, the Chief Minister announced to open 40 Eklavya schools in tribal dominated areas and to upgrade 40 high schools to higher secondary schools.
As many as 53000 teachers in tribal areas will get same facilities as government teachers, said Nath. Seven new sports complexes having best of international facilities are to be set up in Tribal areas, he added. Nath also launched the “Aastha Yojana” to protect, preserve and renovate shrines of Tribal Gods and deities. Community buildings will be constructed for the devotees. Shankar Shah and Kunwar Raghunath Shah memorial museums will be set up to exhibit Tribal culture and history.
Second initiative is related to industrialisation of the state. Kamal Nath spent three days in Mumbai. During his stay he inaugurated a 48 room MP Bhavan. This Bhavan will act as a liaison centre for the state. It will help state officials to maintain regular contact with Mumbai based industrialists.
During his stay he met many leading industrialists individually and collectively. The first to meet him was Mukesh Ambani. Among others he also met Kumar Manglam Birla. He offered an unique project for the state when he agreed to set up 100 high-tech Gaushalas in the state. The Gaushalas would be set up under the head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by Birla Group in upcoming 18 months.
Congress in its Vachan Patra had promised to build Gaushalas. Nath has started getting various companies build Gaushalas trough CSR fund.
Nath and Birla discussed investment possibilities in the state. Nath also apprised Birla of the new possibilities in the field of industries in the state. In his meeting with Mahindra & Mahindra managing director, Pawan Goenka, Nath discussed possibilities of e–rickshaw and e-autos. Nath also met the representatives of CII. CII will be opening skill development centers across the state on the lines of Chhindwara.
Nath also met Cyrus Mistry of Shaponji Palongi Mistry group. In this meeting, development of smart city, new hospitals and foreign capital investment for urban projects were discussed.
Addressing the industrialist’s during an interactive session, Nath said investment and faith are complementary. He said his priority is to investment with job creation. There is no relevance of Industrial development without employment.
Chief Minister also proposed to hold investment summit in near future. Former BJP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held several such summits during his 13 year tenure. He also visited several countries to invite foreign investors but result was not encouraging. According to one estimate Shivraj spent more than Rs. 50 crore on such trips. Let us see how much success Nath achieves by organising such events.
Mining is one of the major sources of the state’s income. Keeping this in view the state government has prepared a draft Mining policy. According to reliable sources Kamal Nath has asked the Mining department to call the suggestions from the pubic before heading for auction of the sand mines.
Chairing a meeting of Mining department to formulate new mining policy the Chief Minister said that the department should come up with such a policy which is transparent, public friendly and help to curb illegal mining. The focus should also be on employment generation he said.
Nath said to provide sand without charging royalty to those who are constructing house under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna and also for construction of toilets. The potters, schedule caste, schedule tribe and BPL families who want sand for personal use should get 10 cubic mere and free of cost, he added. (IPA Service)