Minister for Cooperatives and Ladakh Affairs, Chering Dorjey, today chaired an interface meeting with LAHDC members, NABARD and Banks, and Bi-monthly structured meeting of DDMS at Conference Hall here.
The CEC, LAHDC, Dr Sonam Dawa, Chairman NABARD, Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, CGM NABARD, Dorjey Mutup Executive Councilors Tsering Wangdus, Tsering Sangdup, Councillors, District Officers, Officials from NAPCONS, SKV, TISS, NABARD, Banks and progressive farmers from Leh attended the meeting.
Mr Dorjey expressed gratitude and great hope from the visit of NABARD chairman to Leh. Speaking about the geographical and climatic peculiarities of Ladakh, the Minister stressed on the need for specific area development of the arid region.
He said the projects under NABARD are rural development centric with holistic way of funding and capacity building, “In order to ensure people of the region take advantage of these schemes/projects it is very important for all the government representatives to become aware of NABARD schemes,” he said.
Highlighting the potential of better economic growth in the region, Dorjey asked the NABARD and other officers to promote sectors such as sea-buckthorn, apricot, Pashmina, high density apple with their technical guidance and skill development.
He also underscored the problem faced in irrigation, damages caused due to flash flood, possibility of seed storage and the need to develop border areas which he said is important for defence and security purposes.
The Minister was informed that more than 95% of villages in Leh district are connected with road under NABARD and PMGSY schemes and assurance that the remaining villages will be connected through proper road network soon. The Minister also made the announcement in the meeting to open a new branch of SBI bank in Diskit, Nubra.
In his address, the CEC expressed gratitude to the officials of NABARD for the detailed presentation about their organization which he said has helped in a better understanding about their objectives and projects. He urged the district officers to prepare comprehensive project reports to take maximum benefit from NABARD Schemes.
Endorsing the Minister, Dr. Dawa also stressed on developing land based sustainable economy in Ladakh and to reduce dependency on tourism for economic growth.
Chairman NABARD pointed out that the lack of financial literacy was the main challenge in Ladakh and stressed on creating banking awareness through a social movement to change the reluctant attitude of people towards banks.
He asked the Council to create basic infrastructure, adopt new technologies, create a separate cell with outcome based activities, develop organisational plan at granular level and prepare an actionable plan for separate projects to improve digital connectivity in the region.
He expressed willingness to support the Hill Council in land development, vegetable development, sea-buckthorn and apricot processing and trainings in Pashmina development. He also said that a proposal to appoint two Ladakhis as Assistant Project Manager in NABARD will be put to their Board members and soon an ATM of NABARD will be opened in Leh.
Three letters of intent were also signed between NABARD, SKAUST-K and Tata Trust for promotion of developmental activities in Leh district, and NABARD and SBI for financing of 50 small dairy units of two animals each in Leh district. Mementoes were presented by chairman NABARD to the Minister and CEC, LAHDC Leh.