Assam Current Affairs - 2019
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The Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani inaugurated two silk projects Soil to Silk Project and Eri Spun Silk Mill in Assam.
Soil to Silk Project
- The project envisages new Eri plantation on 100 hectares and will facilitate post cocoon activities for an on-farm sector like plantation, spinning and reeling.
- It would generate direct employment for 15,600 people during the project period and 7,000 persons per year when the project attains full capacity.
- Under the project, the Central Silk board will also work towards rejuvenation of 600 hectares of existing Eri farms and provide handlooms and work sheds to 2500 weavers which in turn will provide important linkages for self-sustenance of the production activities.
Eri Spun Silk Mill
- The Eri Spun Silk Mill project will be implemented directly by the state government in co-coordination with the Central Silk Board.
- The expected turnover from this project during the first year is around Rs 10 crore with a net profit of Rs three crore.
- The project would generate direct employment for 107 persons throughout the year and will provide indirect employment to around another 1,500 Eri farmers through backward linkage and to around 730 weavers through the forward linkage.
On the occasion, the Minister also mentioned the Eri Silk Development Project, which has been dedicated for sustainable livelihood for women of Bodoland Territorial Council through tapioca plantation at Kokrajhar.
The Eri Silk Development Project aims to utilize tapioca plantation for dual purpose i.e. the tuber for food and the leaves for Eri silkworm. The project aids the tribal families below poverty line to utilise the available natural resources to the best advantage of the Eri silkworm rearing and weaving sector.
The government has introduced the 125th Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Parliament to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 Autonomous Councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeastern region.
Features of the Amendment Bill
The salient features of the 125th Constitutional Amendment Bill which will impact one crore tribal people in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram are:
- The amendments proposed provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grass-root level.
- The amendment empowers the village councils to prepare plans for economic development and social justice including those related to agriculture, land improvement, implementation of land reforms, minor irrigation, water management, animal husbandry, rural electrification, small scale industries and social forestry.
- The amendment bill mandates the finance commission to recommend devolution of financial resources to these autonomous councils. The Autonomous Councils are dependent on grants from Central ministries and the State government for specific projects.
- The amendment bill also reserve one-third of the seats for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and
The bill to empower the Autonomous Councils was announced by the government last month in the backdrop of the protests in the North-East following the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha.