GUWAHATI, July 20 � Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today assured the State Assembly that the State Government is sincere in solving the issue of granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the six ethnic groups Ahoms, Morans, Mataks, Chutiyas, Koch-Rajbongshis and the tea communities.
The Minister, who was replying to a debate initiated by Phani Bhusan Choudhury (AGP) on the issue during the introduction of the Assam Appropriation (No II) Bill, 2011, however, maintained that the Department concerned might have faced some real problems while nominating an expert from the tea communities to the expert group for determination of the ethnographical features of these communities.
Moreover, the peoples of the tea communities have different identities outside the State. For, they are an admixture of different groups of people. If the MLAs belonging to these communities suggest any name of expert for the purpose, the government will notify the name within 48 hours of the receipt of the suggestion, the minister said.
He also told the House that the work on the rest of the five ethnic groups is under progress and made an appeal to the Speaker of the Assembly to lead an all-party delegation to mount pressure on the Union Government on the issue.
Earlier, raising the issue, Choudhury said that despite their being an Assembly resolution on the issue, the government has failed so far to find an expert for the expert committee on the tea communities. He claimed that there is a scope to doubt the sincerity of the State government on the issue.