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Tripura Govt�s nod to terms of reference

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, July 26 - The State Government today approved of the terms of reference of the modality committee to be constituted by the Centre to look into socio-economic and linguistic aspects for overall development of the indigenous tribes of Tripura, one of the promises made in the BJP�s election manifesto.

The terms of reference are focused on seven points � economy, language, culture, land rights, education and health care � for the even development of the 19 indigenous tribes.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had spoken to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the formation of the modality committee and in reply, the Centre has asked the State Government to prepare a road map for the committee.

�Today, the Cabinet has approved of the terms of reference for the proposed modality committee with thrust on seven areas,� said Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath at the Civil Secretariat here.

Nath told reporters that the modality committee would suggest empowerment of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

�The terms of reference will also empower the modality committee to suggest a suitable package for overall development of the indigenous people. It will be sent to the Centre for necessary steps,� he added.

Terming the Centre�s decision to constitute a committee for a particular State, the minister said it would have a positive impact on the socio-economic development of the indigenous people who are still lagging behind.

Significantly, the demand for Tipraland as insisted on by the Indigenous People�s Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally of the present Government, did not find place in the terms of reference.

Nath said the Cabinet has also decided to bring two ordinances to implement the Tripura road development cess on fuel (2 percent) and Aadhaar-linked State Government benefits.

�Since there is no Assembly session, we have to promulgate ordinances to implement the two schemes,� he said.

The minister also denied spread of misinformation on providing social welfare pension. �Currently, 4.16 families are receiving social pension and the Government will streamline the process shortly,� he said.

In the line of the UPSC, the Tripura Public Service Commission will also prepare a calendar to conduct State civil and police service examinations for the next five years, the minister added.

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