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Minister Chering Dorje's stress on developing land-based sustainable economy in Ladakh
By Reach Ladakh Correspondent, Saturday, September 2, 2017

An interface meeting with LAHDC members, NABARD and Banks and Bi-monthly structured meeting of DDMS was convened on August 18 at Conference hall, Leh.
The meeting was chaired by Chering Dorje, Minister for Cooperative and Ladakh Affairs. Dr. Sonam Dawa, CEC, Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman NABARD, CGM NABARD, Executive Councillors, Councillors, District Officers, Officials from NAPCONS, SKV, TISS, NABARD, Banks and progressive farmers from Leh attended the meeting.

Speaking about the peculiarities of Ladakh in terms of geographic and climatic conditions, Minister focused on the need for area development in consideration with the availability of resources. He said that the projects under NABARD are farmers and rural development centric with a holistic way of funding and capacity building. 
He added that to take advantage of these schemes/projects it becomes very important for all the government representatives to be aware of it.

Highlighting the potentials for better economic growth, he mentioned of sea buckthorn apricot, Pashmina, high-density apple and expressed the need for intervention on part of State, NABARD and other financial support to explore and promote these sectors with technical guidance and skill development. 

He also raised the problem faced in irrigation, damages caused due to flash flood, the possibility of seed storage and the need to develop border areas which he said is important for defence and security purpose. 

The Minister also made the announcement in the meeting to open a new branch of SBI bank in Diskit, Nubra.

Dr Sonam Dawa said that NABARD is a sector highly beneficial for Ladakh and urged upon the district officers to prepare comprehensive project reports to take maximum benefit of the services provided by NABARD. 

Endorsing the Minister, Dr. Dawa also stressed on developing the land based sustainable economy in Ladakh and to reduce dependency on tourism for economic growth.
Chairman NABARD pointed out lack of financial literacy as the main challenge in Ladakh and stressed on creating banking awareness through a social movement to change the reluctant attitude of people towards the bank. He suggested Council stress the need to have basic infrastructure, adoption of new technologies, creating a separate cell with outcome based activities, develop an organisational plan at a granular level and to prepare an actionable plan for the separate project to improve digital connectivity in the region. 

He expressed willingness to support Hill Council in land development, vegetable development, sea buckthorn and apricot processing and training in Pashmina development.
He also asked Council to prepare a DPR for climate change project and assured to help them in funds from National Adaptation Fund and under the grand based project. He also said that a proposal to appoint two Ladakhi 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 and SKAUST-K and Tata Trust for the promotion of developmental activities in Leh district and NABARD and SBI for the financing of 50 small dairy units of 2 animals each in Leh district.       

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