Committee slams plan panel for cutting Project Tiger outlay



New Delhi: Criticising the Planning Commission for taking "so lightly" its recommendation, a parliamentary committee has asked it to provide adequate funds for tiger conservation programme and wanted the Environment Ministry to push the case "forcefully" with the plan panel.

"The Committee is of the view that the reduction in proposed demand of the Ministry of Rs 1276.30 crore to Rs 167.70 crore as final outlay under Project Tiger, is not at all justified," the 31-member Standing Committee on Environment and Forests noted in its report.

T Subbarami Reddy-chaired committee expressed its "deep anguish over a well-thought out suggestion" of the panel being taken "so lightly and not acceded to even after a lapse of over 16 months".

It asked the Environment Ministry to seriously consider the needs of the Environment Ministry for preservation and conservation of wildlife.

The committee had recommended that the proposed allocation of the Ministry should be restored by the Planning Commission as "a drastic reduction" in allocation would badly affect the progress of the scheme "which has raised a lot of hue and cry in the recent years".

The panel said it also "impresses upon" the Ministry to keep pursuing its demand for additional resources for Project Tiger "forcefully" with the Planning Commission till it is met.

Under implementation since 1973 as a centrally-sponsored scheme, Project Tiger has put the tiger on an assured course of recovery from the brink of extinction, and has resurrected the floral and faunal genetic diversity in some of the country's unique and endangered ecosystems.

PTI