Goa Govt urges Centre to reserve seats in Assembly for ST's

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Panaji, July 25 (UNI) The Goa government has urged the Centre to reserve 12 per cent of the 40 seats in the State Legislative Assembly for scheduled tribes (ST).

This was stated by Social Welfare Minister Pandurang Madkaikar in a written reply, tabled in the House to an unstarred question raised by Ramesh Tawadkar (BJP).

He said the state Cabinet, at its meeting held on January 18, had decided to urge the Centre to provide tribals with 12 per cent reservation of seats in the House and the decision was conveyed to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice for making suitable amendment in the Representation of Peoples' Act, 1951 and related rules thereunder.

To another question, the Minister told the House that there was no proposal to constitute a Scheduled Tribes Commission by the state, on the lines of the Central Commission.

However, the state government had set up Goa State ST Finance and Development Corporation for implementing various schemes for the benefit of the STs, he informed.

Mr Madkaikar said he had also presented a list of state and Centrally-sponsored ST welfare schemes.

The social welfare department had been implementing various schemes for the STs and hence, the question of setting up a separate ST Commission at the state-level would not arise, the Minister told the House.

He said the state had drawn a tribal sub-plan for the year 2006-07 with an outlay of Rs 85.5 crore. The provisions included protection of civil rights, relief to victims of atrocities besides their overall welfare.


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