Implement law for protecting tribal rights: MP tells Centre

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today appealed to the Centre to implement the long-delayed legislation for protecting tribal rights and called for formulating an effective policy on minimum support price urgently in consulation with the States.

''The most critical requirement is a review of the formula for determining the cost of cultivation for minimum support price system after an objective study of the relative costs,'' Mr Chouhan said, addresssing the 54th meeting of the National Development Council.

He also demanded an increase in the number of days of employment in a year for every family from 100 to 150 under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Stressing that the Supreme Court ban on use of forest land for developing irrigation resources was feeding naxal violence, the Chief Minister asked the Centre and the States to resolve the issue through dialogue with the judiciary, treating it as a grave emergency.

He also pointed out that many mineral-deficient tribal districts were facing Left-wing extremism because of lack of job opportunities, and said rail networking was a must for the diversification of the local economy.

''I would request that the railways should not ask for the State's share in new rail project for at least the backward districts included in the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF).'' On the tribal rights issue, he said the subordinate legislation, guidelines and rules should be notified and the long overdue rights formally recorded in the prescribed time.

He also emphasised that the meagre resources provided through BRGF were woefully inadequate to address the inter-state infrastructural imbalances, and said both Central programmes for infrastructure development and private development of industrial infrastructure through SEZ were favouring developed regions.

Mr Chouhan said a comprehensive integrated irrigation development project was needed for each State.

For Madhya Pradesh, he wanted the Centre to provide the cost of land acquired for national highways projects, and bear 75 per cent share in special educational institutions for SC/ST students and the entire capital cost of infrastructure for proposed colleges.

UNI

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