JAMMU, Jan 29: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today said J&K’s tribal community is an important constituent of the State’s population and the Government is formulating a comprehensive settlement policy for them.
Speaking during “All J&K Gujjar Bakerwal Conference”, the Minister said, “Our tribal communities have always laid down their lives for safeguarding the interests of the State and the country and even today they are directly or indirectly involved in the same without even getting paid for it.”
Highlighting the contribution of the Gujjar-Bakerwal community, the Minister said that they have always stood by the nation and there are many instances available in the history bearing witness to their struggle in this regard.
Zulfkar Ali informed the gathering that the Government under the guidance of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is working on formulating a comprehensive settlement policy under which the tribal communities would be rehabilitated. He added that on CM’s instructions a committee has already been constituted in this regard which is working on the formulation of the policy.
The Minister said the Government is committed to make residential colonies for tribal population with all the basic facilities including water, power and good roads.
Demanding strict action against those who have illegally grabbed hundreds of acres of Government land, the Minister said land grabbing is a serious crime which no Government would tolerate and should be dealt with strictly. However, those who over a period of time are using a small patches of land for shelter should be left alone, he added.
While assuring of raising all the issues that were brought up during the conference with the concerned Ministers, the Minister also announced opening of Government Depot for the area. Besides, he also instructed to ensure that nomadic population gets ration at Rs 2 and Rs 3 per kg and assured that on February 6 Directorate of FCS&CA would revise the prices of milk and meat.
Earlier, Minister for Revenue, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Syed Basharat Ahmed Bukhari assuring the people present of all possible help from the Government said that he will hold a meeting with Choudhary Zulfkar Ali and with various Gujjar-Bakerwal representatives to discuss various issues the community is facing and would try to find a way to address them at the earliest.
Urging the community to maintain the unity, the Minister said, unity is must for the development of any nation and we have to ensure that we as a society maintain unity among ourselves at all costs.
Director, FCS&CA, G S Chib, Haji Mohammad Yousuf, Choudhary Mohammad Yaseen Poswal and other prominent leaders from the community attended the function.