MIRZA, Jan 31 � A lobby in NABARD, Assam Regional Office (RO), Guwahati has been holding up sanction of project proposals meant solely for the welfare of the tribal community under the Tribal Development Fund (Programme) of NABARD, thereby affecting development of around 40 lakhs tribal population of the State.
Leaders of various tribal organisations and people in general have submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today stating that Man & Wild, a social and environment organisation of the State, had submitted a project proposal to the NABARD, Assam Regional Office (RO) Guwahati way back in May 2013 for the empowerment of poor tribal farmers of Chayani-Borduar block in Kamrup district through development of orchards under the Tribal Development Fund (TDF) Programme (of NABARD), but the NABARD has not shown any interest to sanction the project proposal for the last two years, allegedly due to pressures of a lobby, despite constant emphasis and directives of the Prime Minster to different Union ministries, including Finance, for development of the Northeast region.
The organisations also requested the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter for ensuring sanction of a project proposal for speedy growth of the poorest of the poor tribal community in Assam.
According to the memorandum to the Prime Minister, the proposed project area in Chayani-Borduar block in Kamrup district is inhabited by 99% tribal people of whom over90 % live below the poverty line (BPL). The project proposal was designed with the aim to uplift the most backward hilly areas of India inhibited by the uneducated, ignorant, poverty-afflicted tribal farmers. The proposal was also targeted towards Kamrup district as no project under the TDF Programme has so far been sanctioned by NABARD for the district, which has a tribal population of over 2 lakhs.
The memorandum also alleged that implementation of TDF Programme was unsatisfying as the NABARD has sanctioned only five projects (benefiting only 2,500 tribal families) under the programme in the last 10 years.
Meanwhile, sources claimed that several reputed NGOs of the State had submitted over 40 project proposals under TDF Programme to the NABARD in the last 10 years but nearly all of them were rejected, hampering the development of the poor tribal community.
The Prime Minister was also informed that altogether 484 projects under TDF programme, amounting to Rs 1,432 crore, have been sanctioned by the NABARD across India since 2003-2004 up to March 2013, which have benefited over 4 lakhs tribal families. The Andhra Pradesh NABARD Regional Office had alone sanctioned over 80 projects under TDF up to March, 2013. Besides, several other regional offices of NABARD located in tribal populated States of Rajasthan, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, etc., have sanctioned at least 20 to 30 project proposals under TDF in their respective States, benefiting thousands of tribal families.