New Delhi,: Evincing dissatisfaction over poor implementaion of the Central Government’s schemes for tribals, senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat today said she has sought more funds for the tribal areas, irrespective of whether they are Naxal-affected or not, from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the coming budget.
”The Centre has set such a poor example of implementation as well as funds allocation for various schemes and programmes for the tribals. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs itself is highly marginalised,” Ms Karat told a press conference here.
A delegation from the ‘Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch’, led by Ms Karat, met the Finance Minister yesterday and gave him a memorandum regarding the budgetary allocations for tribals.
The delegation apprised Mr Mukherjee of the shortfall in budget allocations for tribal communities, which is over Rs 20,000 crore in the past two years against the Tribal Sub-Plan guidelines, and asked for more funds, the CPI(M) Politburo member said.
She said they have also demanded a special package for tribal farmers since the loan waiver scheme of the Centre has not benefitted the community much.
”All studies show that debt waiver for farmers has not brought much relief to the tribals. Also, the value of minor forest produce is large but Minimum Support Price (MSP) for that is nowhere near the market price,” Ms Karat said.
”There is also no MSP for medicinal plants which tribals are growing in many of the areas. So, we have asked the Finance Minister to look into this,” she said.
Besides, the delegation has also asked for increased stipend for tribal students, loan at subsidised interest rates for tribal women and inclusion of all tribals in Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.CourtesyUNI