The conclave to deliberate on the problems faced by the Himalayan states would be held at Mussoorie on July 28
The participants of the forthcoming ‘Himalayan Conclave’ would try to build a consensus on basic issues facing the Himalayan states and it is expected that the joint declaration at end of the deliberations would emphasise on demanding special status for the Himalayan states.
The conclave to deliberate on the problems faced by the Himalayan states would be held at Mussoorie on July 28. Being the host state, the officials concerned with the Conclave are engrossed these days in ensuring that it turns out to be a success.
The Finance secretary, Amit Singh Negi who is playing a major role in preparing the dossier of Uttarakhand for the conclave told The Pioneer that every state would present its case in the conclave and Chief Ministers of the participating states would raise their concerns in their respective speeches but a broad consensus on some issues is likely to emerge out of deliberations. He said that it is expected that these states would request the government to undertake some sort of valuation of the ecological services provided by them and make budgetary provisions accordingly.
The Himalayas are like a ‘water tower’ for the country from where all perennial rivers emerge and provide water. The forest cover of the Himalayan states generates oxygen and act as huge carbon sink that absorb green house gases. Basing their plea on these facts the endeavour of the Himalayan states would be to demand for adequate compensation for the ecological services provided by them.
It is expected that in the joint declaration a demand for grant of special status to Himalayan states would made. It is worth mentioning here that Uttarakhand was divested special status by the 14th Finance Commission.
Negi added that the Himalayan states can also demand a special package for infrastructural activities and disaster mitigation works as they have limited fiscal capabilities.
The chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur would address the conclave.
Apart from them the chairman of finance commission, Vice President of Niti Ayog, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, subject experts and senior bureaucrats would take part in the Conclave. The Conclave assumes significance as the report of the 15th finance commission is expected to be released soon.
In a statement, the chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat had said that the Conclave would help the finance commission and Niti Ayog to understand the situation of Himalayan states in a much focused manner. He expressed hope that the brainstorming would help the Himalayan states to get more financial resources.
Convene all party meeting before Conclave- Congress
The Uttarakhand unit of Congress party has demanded that chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat should convene an all party meeting before the Himalayan Conclave. The Vice President of the Congress party, Surya Kant Dhasmana has written a letter to CM in which he has demanded that a consensus proposal should be prepared in the all party meeting based on which the state government should present its case strongly. He said that Uttarakhand plays a major role in protecting the environment of the country and the world and a demand for green bonus in lieu of these services is being made from time to time. However in absence of a consensus, no proposal for green bonus has been submitted to centre in the past, he said.
Friday, 19 July 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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