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India extends a five-year grant for running of Tibetan refugee settlements

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(TibetanReview.net, Apr07’22) – The government of India has decided to extend for another five years grant-in-aid of Rs. 40 crore (approx. US$5.26 million) to the Dalai Lama’s Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC), which runs the Tibetan refugee settlements spread across the country, reported thehindu.com Apr 6. The scheme was started by the BJP-led ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2015.

The report said the Rs. 8 crore per year scheme was extended in Jun 2020 in the aftermath of eastern Ladakh’s Galwan valley night clash between Indian and Chinese border troops which resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number from the Chinese side which officially admitted only four casualties, including an officer.

As regards the details on the grant sought by Biju Janta Dal’s Sujeet Kumar, Minister of State for Home Mr Ajay Kumar Mishra has said in a written reply: “The scheme provides for an annual grant of Rs. 8 crore to CTRC to meet the administrative expenses of Settlement Offices and social welfare expenses for Tibetan refugees staying in Tibetan settlements spread across 12 States/UTs in the country. The entire amount of Rs. 40 crore (Rs. 8 crore per annum) from 2016-17 to 2020-21 for this scheme has been released/reimbursed to the CTRC.”

He has also said, “The scheme has been further extended for five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26. An amount of Rs. 8 crore to CTRC has been released for the year 2021-22.”

The report said that in 2015, the NDA government came out with a new policy for the Tibetan refugees and sanctioned a scheme of providing grant-in-aid of Rs. 40 crore to CTRC for five years to meet the administrative and social welfare activities expenses of 36 Tibetan settlement offices in different States.

The minister has added that the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy of 2014 launched by the NDA government is reviewed in consultation with all the concerned stake holders ie, State/Central Departments.

Of the around one lakh (.1 million) Tibetan refugees settled in India, most are concentrated in Tibetan refugee settlements in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Jammu & Kashmir, the report said. Odisha, Sikkim, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra also host concentrations of Tibetan refugees in settlements or communities. 

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