The Conclave of Himalayan States was held to discuss the priorities of Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) and ways to address the unique problems they face in the 15th Finance Commission. It was possible due to the initiative of the Government of Uttarakhand under the guidance of Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. The Conclave brought together all stakeholders at the highest level.
The Conclave was attended by Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, 15th Finance Commission Chairman Mr. N.K Singh, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar along with Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shri Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Meghalaya Shri Conrad K Sangma, Chief Minister of Nagaland Shri Neiphiu Rio and Deputy CM of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Chowna Mein. Other IHR states were also represented at the senior level.
The Conclave concluded with the adoption of the Mussoorie Resolution 2019 to work out strategies for Sustainable Development of Mountain areas in a collaborative manner.
The key points of discussion included:
- Improvement of border infrastructure in IHR to mitigate migration from these areas.
- Institutionalisation of the platform of the Himalayan Conclave to take the concerns of the IHR forward in the national development agenda.
- Promotion of youth start-ups to find local solutions to mountain issues.
- Need to factor in higher cost for development and maintenance costs, and historical infrastructure gap.
- Demand for a higher percentage in horizontal devolution than the 7.5% for forest cover in the 14th Finance Commission.
- Green Bonus to IHR states considering their contributions to environmental conservation.
- Need to pay crucial attention to Water Resource Management, Climate Change, Agriculture, and Human Resource Development and Disaster Risk Reduction.