New Delhi: The Rural Development ministry has taken special initiatives to address the concerns of the tribal communities, according to Union minister Jairam Ramesh.
The Ministry also decided to separate the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe components in its development programmes to make sure that the backward tribals get the benefit of the ambitious ministry schemes like Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
In a letter to Tribal Affairs Minister Kishore Chandra Deo, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said since inception, in schemes like IAY and NRLM, there is an insistence of 60 per cent benefits being given to SC/STs.
"But there was no separate target for STs and naturally no monitoring. Now, we have decided to separate the SC and ST components so that the scheduled tribes get a definite portion of the scheme in keeping with their backwardness," he said.
The Ministry has introduced a programme under Indira Awas Yojana to provide houses to all Scheduled Tribes given rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
Spelling out the steps taken by the Ministry to address the specific concerns of the tribals, Ramesh said under the NRLM, the Ministry has taken up initiatives to add value to non-timber forest produce in different states, ensuring that tribals get full benefits of this value addition.
"In addition, areas from where trafficking in women is high have received special focus," he said.
Ramesh said the Ministry, under its rural road scheme, has taken steps to connect all tribal habitations in scheduled areas where population is above 250 with all-weather road.
A high level committee has also been set up to advise the Ministry on implementation of the tribal component of different programmes like MNREGA and NRLM in a sensitive and proactive manner.