Seventy per cent of Tribal Affairs Budget already utilized says Jual Oram


New Delhi, Dec 27: Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram has said that 70% of his Ministry’s budget for the year 2016-17 has already been released. Addressing a press conference about the achievements of his Ministry during the year 2016 in New Delhi today, the Minister said his Ministry has paid special attention to proper implementation of Forest Rights Act.  He said as per information received from State Governments till October 2016, about 16.78 lakh individual (Forest Rights) titles have been granted over an area of 55.43 lakh acres of forest land. Further, 48,192 community (Forest Rights) titles have been distributed over an area of about 47 lakh acres of forest land.

Referring to the revision of list of scheduled tribes the Minister informed that recently Irular (including Villi and Vettaikaran) has been included in the ST list in Puducherry. He further said that to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Tripura, a bill namely the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment), Bill 2016 has been introduced in Lok Sabha during the recent winter session of Parliament.

Shri Oram said his Ministry is collaborating with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to build a framework suited to the need and requirement of tribal people. It is planned for setting up one Multi-Skilling Institute in each of 163 priority (tribal concentrated) districts. Infrastructure funding will be shared by Ministry of Tribal Affairs and State Govt. (50:50). Recurring cost component will be funded by MSDE, under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). Details of the collaboration are being worked out.

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The Union Tribal Affairs Minister referred to the setting up of National Resource Centre on Tribal Livelihood (Vanjeevan) at Bhuvneshar on 22nd of this month. He said Vanjeevan will serve as an apex central institution within Ministry of Tribal Affairs to act as research and technical hub to further socio-economic development of tribal communities through comprehensive interaction of the 3Es-employment, employability and entrepreneurship. The resource center would cater to the development and promotion of sustainable livelihood avenues in the tribal areas through entrepreneurship and skill up-gradation. Vanjeevan will also forge linkages and build upon the skill building efforts of the other Central Ministries/Departments such as Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises etc.

Referring to the Minimum Support Price (MSP) to Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Shri Oram said that last month the coverage of area of the scheme has been extended beyond Schedule V States and now the scheme is applicable in all States.  He said in addition to the existing 12 MFPs another 14 items have been included in the scheme. States have also been given freedom for fixing MSP 10% above or below the MSP rate decided by Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

About sickle cell anemia Shri Oram said his Ministry has taken initiative to arrest its spread so that sickle cell carriers (patients) can be cared for, and future generations can be saved from this scourge. A protocol for Sickle Cell Management was issued in March 2015 with the objective to control the spread of the disease. In this regard, workshops were conducted in States in collaboration with Department of Biotechnology for mapping of incidence of Sickle Cell Trait and disease among tribal people all over the country through State Governments. About 1.1 crore children and youth have been screened so far. A revised protocol has been issued to the States in November 2016 after consultation with Department of Health Research. As per this, apart from screening of children and youth, screening of pregnant women is also to be done, and in case one individual is identified in the family, then family members will also be screened. The programme also provides for counseling of sickle cell carriers, and management of patients with sickle cell disease, the Minister added.

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