Special Correspondent

Scheme to be in place in next five years

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    GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a Rs.15,000-crore package for the all-round development of tribals in the State.

    Making a statement in the Assembly here, Mr. Modi said the "Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana" would be implemented in the next five years along with the 11th five-year plan to improve the financial, educational and social standards of the Scheduled Tribes.

    He claimed that while the State spent about Rs.6,500 croreunder the various tribal sub-plans in 27 years since 1974, in the last five years the allocations under the tribal sub-plan was raised to Rs.6,000 crore.

    But even this was not sufficient for the all-round development of the neglected tribals who constitute about 15 per cent of the population spread over 43 talukas in the State.

    He said in a bid to reflect the aspirations of the tribals, his government decided to formulate a separate scheme for their development.

    Claiming that the yojana would become a "trend-setter" in the country, Mr. Modi also announced a 10-point programme for the implementation of the scheme.

    Programmes

    Among the programmes announced were opening job-oriented schemes in the tribal areas to help double their income, offering educational facilities in all tribal areas for their children, laying pipeline to connect all tribal villages for drinking water supply, providing necessary assistance to encourage tribal farmers to shift to drip irrigation, providing houses for all homeless tribals, electrification of the houses of poor tribals at the government's cost and all-weather road links to all tribal villages.