Vety Minister assures incentive for pony rearers

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Imphal, July 25 2017: Veterinary and Animal Husbandry V Hangkhanlian today announced on the floor of the Manipur Legislative Assembly that the State Government would start giving incentive to pony rearers.

He remarked that the rare pony species of Manipur is a pride for all the people of the State.

Even though Manipuri pony helps in identifying Manipur before the whole world and an international polo championship is held every year at Imphal, pony population has dwindled alarmingly.

As per the livestock census of 2012, there were only 1101 ponies in Manipur.

Rapid urbanisation, loss of habitat, disappearance of wetlands and shrinking grazing grounds are some major factors for the rapid decline of pony population.

Taking serious note of the sorry state of Manipur pony, the State Government declared Manipuri pony as an endangered species in 2012.Further, the Manipuri Pony Conservation and Development Policy was enacted on November 29, 2016.

As mentioned in the policy, the State Government would take up due initiative to provide incentive to people who have been rearing Manipuri pony, Hangkhanlian said.

With a view to protect and preserve pony, the State Government submitted a detailed project report of Rs 39 crore to the Ministry of Agriculture in 2014-15 for development of a pony sanctuary at Heingang.

Moreover, the Government initiated a breed characterisation programme of Manipuri pony in collaboration with Animal Science Division, CAU and National Bureau of Animal and Genetic Resources.

However, both the projects have not been sanctioned, Hangkhanlian informed the House while discussing a demand pertaining to Animal Husbandry and Veterinary including dairy farming.

As the House moved on to the demand about Labour and Employment, Th Radheshyam stated that the Labour Department has so far issued 60,000 labour cards to labourers.

If one wishes to apply for labour card, he/she should be working under a registered construction firm or contractor.

He/she should get first registered at Labour Department by paying Rs 50 as processing fee and another annual subscription of Rs 120 (at the rate of Rs 10 per month).

If any official is charging more than Rs 170 for labour card application, the matter may be reported to the Anti-Corruption Cell, Radheshyam said.

Labour card holders are entitled to medical as well as pension benefits (after attaining 60 years).

They would also get assistance toward education for two of their children.

These benefits are provided by the Building and Other Construction Workers Board.

The board does not have a separate fund.

Its only fund is the 1 per cent labour cess deducted from construction projects.

The amount deducted as labour cess is, however, pending at Finance Department.

Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has issued an instruction that the labour cess should be released within four weeks.

Labour Department manages both Craftsmen Training Centre and Employment Exchange, and there are 17 ITIs under it.

The department functions under 25 different sets of labour laws, Radheshyam added.

TD& Hills Minister N Kayisii claimed that the department has been providing benefits of several schemes to tribal people residing in the valley too.

To ensure that maximum people get benefits of the welfare schemes, the department would launch an initiative of Aadhar and bank account number seeding.

Manipur State Commission for ST has been established, scholarships are being given to tribal students and the Tribal Research Institute has been upgraded to the status of a Directorate.

Although there is no separate budget allocation, ADCs are functioning well under the Tribal Affairs & Hills Department.

Five Ashram schools were set up in hill districts in 1978-79 under the concerned Ministry of the Government of India.

Two of the Ashram Schools were set up in Senapati, one in Chandel and two others in Tamenglong.

They were handed over to the State Government after sometime and they are now functioning under the TA&Hills Department, Kayisii said.

Around Rs 174 lakh sanctioned for ADCs in 2016-17 got lapsed and the amount is pending at Finance Department, he added.

Source: The Sangai Express

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