New Delhi, Dec 4: A meeting of the High Powered Committee (HPC) for Ladakh, under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai held in New Delhi on Monday.
An official spokesman in a statement issued to the Press Information Bureau (PIB) said that the Apex Body Leh (ABL) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) also participated in the meeting.
Nityanand Rai emphasised that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the guidance of Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah, the Ministry of Home Affairs is committed to fast-track the development of Ladakh and to meet the aspirations of the people of Ladakh.
He said that significant progress had been achieved after the formation of the union territory in 2019.
“Due to this historic step of the formation of the UT, governance and thereby developments have been brought closer to the people of Ladakh,” Rai said.
He said that several initiatives like increasing the budgetary allocation for the UT, increasing funds provided to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils, ensuring all-round connectivity, developing infrastructures like mobile networks, roads, and construction of new helipads, had been undertaken at a much faster pace.
Rai said that the government would continue to engage with the ABL, KDA, and the people of Ladakh for the holistic and sustainable development of Ladakh regularly.
ABL and KDA welcomed the decision of MHA to modify the terms of references and also the inclusion of new members.
The ABL and KDA members submitted various issues about the protection of the rights of Ladakh residents, fast-track recruitment processes, strengthening of LAHDCs, and greater participation in the decision-making.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted High Powered Committee (HPC) for Ladakh under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, with a mandate to discuss measures to protect the Ladakh region’s unique culture and language taking into consideration its geographical location and its strategic importance to ensure protection of land and employment; measures for inclusive development and employment generation in the region; measures related to empowerment of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) of Leh and Kargil; and constitutional safeguards that could be provided to ensure the measures and protection.
IRFAN RAINA adds from Ganderbal
Meanwhile, Ladakhi leaders said that they reiterated their four demands and the MoS Home assured of scheduling the next meeting soon.
Member of Parliament of Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, both the Chief Executive Councillors of LAHDC-Kargil and LAHDC Leh, Advisor to LG Ladakh Pawan Kotwal and top officials of MHA including Union Home Secretary participated in the meeting.
The Ladakh representatives reiterated their four demands with the High Powered Committee of the MHA.
The High Powered Committee headed by the MoS Home gave positive signs about empowering both the councils of Leh and Kargil as well as assuring the scheduling of the next meeting. Former cabinet minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and member LAB, Chering Dorjey told Greater Kashmir that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and the HPC members headed by MoS Home listened to the issues and demands by the LAB and KDA members.
He said that the MoS Home assured that the next meeting would be scheduled soon to carry on the talks and further discussions and deliberation.
“The first meeting of the HPC is just over. The representatives of both the LAB and KDA raised the four-point agenda, including statehood, the Sixth Schedule, PSC Gazetted Rules, and parliamentary representation. The MoS Home, on behalf of the government, assured us of scheduling the next meeting soon and requested written representations,” said Sajjad Hussain Kargili, a member of KDA. "We hope that the government will give a positive response to the concerns of the people of Ladakh.”