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Meet in Delhi over tribal welfare funds

Guwahati, Nov. 18: The Centre has convened a daylong meeting of the tribal welfare secretaries of the northeastern states tomorrow to discuss the issue of non-submission of utilisation certificates by the state governments against central funds released for tribal development schemes.

The meeting, called by the Union ministry of tribal affairs, will be held in New Delhi.

The undue pendency of the utilisation certificates has become a cause of concern to the ministry.

It is now actively pursuing the submission of the certificates with the state governments.

Union tribal affairs minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo will chair tomorrow’s meeting, which will also be attended by minister of state for tribal affairs Ranee Narah and top ministry officials.

The Union ministry of tribal affairs is the nodal ministry of the central government for the overall policy, planning and co-ordination of programmes for development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs).

“Non-submission of utilisation certificates by the state government is a matter of concern. We have been asking the respective departments to furnish these without any further delay or else difficulties may arise in releasing the next instalment of funds,” Narah told reporters here this morning before leaving for Delhi.

Narah said she has advised the state governments to take prompt steps to expedite the process of issuance of utilisation certificates for the works completed.

“At tomorrow’s meeting, we will discuss the reasons for non-submission of the certificates for a large number of centrally-sponsored tribal welfare schemes in the region and see what can be done to ensure the timely submission,” she said.

On November 11, Narah said the state governments informally told her that they have not been able to submit utilisation certificates for funds released to the Sixth Schedule areas, as the autonomous councils had not submitted theirs.

This issue is likely to figure in the meeting.

She has also asked the tribal welfare departments of the state governments to pursue the matter with the autonomous councils to see that the certificates are submitted as and when they are due to ensure that central funds are not withheld.

Narah was also concerned over the slow progress in the implementation of certain tribal welfare projects in the Northeast and it is also likely to come up for discussion in the meeting.


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