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Natural resources will play an important role in building Atmanirbhar Assam: Sarbananda Sonowal.

By Trishna Pegu Doley

GUWAHATI : The Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that natural resources available in different parts of the State would play an important role in building Atmanirbhar Assam. The Chief Minister said this while launching TRISSAM, a brand under Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana of Assam at Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati today. The Chief Minister on the occasion launched a number of new products processed by Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDDK) of the State. Noteworthy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched PM Van Dhan Yojana on 14th April, 2018 in a bid to promote entrepreneurship among tribal people and making them economically self-reliant.

The scheme envisages to aggregating forest products and marketing them with required branding by the VDDKs. Presently around 50 VDDKs are operating under the WPT&BC department in the State. The Chief Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the time of assuming office has been making committed efforts for making the country economically self-reliant. The Jan-Dhan Yojana launched by the PM brought the poor and underprivileged into the financial system paving a life of dignity for them, he said adding that bank accounts opened under the scheme facilitated direct transfer of financial benefits of government schemes to targeted beneficiaries. This significant move by the PM ensured social security of the disadvantaged class in the country, he observed.

Calling for value addition of products produced by the VDDKs, the Chief Minister urged the stakeholders to tap the potential naturally available in the forests of the State and make best use of them to increase their sources of income. Chief Minister Sonowal also stressed on the need to develop better strategies for production, procurement and marketing so that products of the VDDKs could capture the market of the north eastern States and other parts of the country. He further advocated for study of consumer behaviour and formulation of strategies for value addition.

Moreover, emphasizing the need for increasing forest cover in the State, the Chief Minister urged the people to take active part in plantation activities. He also called upon the people to give adequate attention to understand the value of nature for human survival and sustenance of economic progress. Chief Minister Sonowal also interacted with several VDDK members during the programme. Minister of WPT&BC, Government of Assam Chandan Brahma said that TRISSAM would play an important role in realizing the potential and possibilities of the natural resources of the State. He also appreciated the role played by IIE, Guwahati in handholding the VDDK members and assured all support from the government.

He also called for promoting entrepreneurship among tribal people of the State. Speaking on the occasion, Director of IIE, Guwahati highlighted the journey of TRISSAM and steps taken to strengthen the VDDKs. While Commissioner & Secretary of WPT&BC Dr. M Angamuthu delivered the welcome speech, the programme was also attended by Minister of Irrigation (i/c) Bhabesh Kalita, ATDC Chairman Jayanta Malla Baruah, members of various VDDKs among others. Vote of thanks offered by Director of WPT&BC Mrigesh Narayan Baruah.