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  • Make tribal stakeholder in development project: PM

    Published on August 15, 2010

    Allaying fears of tribals over loss of livelihood, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said they should be compensated for land acquired from them and made stakeholders in the developmental projects coming up in their areas.

    “Apart from adequate compensation for land which is acquired from them, we should also ensure that our ‘Adivasi’ (tribal) brothers and sisters have a stake in the developmental project being undertaken,” Dr. Singh said while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 64th Independence Day.

    He said tribals should not be compelled to lose forests as a source of their livelihood without provision of alternative mechanism for their survival.

    “They (tribals) have been dependent on forest produce for centuries and this dependence should not end without the creation of new sources of livelihood,” he said.

    The Prime Minister’s comments assume importance, since a Group of Ministers recently proposed that 26 per cent of the net profit of the mining project should go towards the displaced tribals and others.

    Besides, each member of the displaced family should be given a share in the mining project, the GoM proposed.

    Based on the recommendations, Mining Ministry will prepare a new Mining Bill, which is likely to be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament.

    The GoM had, however, dropped a proposal by the Mining Ministry that 26 per cent stake be given to the displaced in the mining project.

    An estimated Rs 1.5 lakh crore greenfield steel projects of ArcelorMittal and Posco have been delayed for about 5 years due to tribal protects against land acquisition in areas like Orissa and Jharkhand.

    To bring Naxal-hit areas into the development process, the Prime Minister announced that he has asked the Planning Commission to formulate a comprehensive scheme to end the neglect of these areas.

    “Most naxalite affected areas lag behind in development. Many such areas also have a large concentration of our adivasi brothers and sisters. We want to end the neglect of these areas. I have asked the Planning Commission to formulate a comprehensive scheme towards this end, which we would implement fully,” he said.

    The Planning Commission recently recommended a Rs 13,742-crore package for developing the Naxal-hit districts and the proposal has been sent to the Prime Minister.