Tribal Affairs Min gets raised allocation of Rs 2,133.55 cr

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) Finance Minister P Chidambaram in his budget proposals for 2008-09 has made a substantially higher allocation towards the Tribal Affairs Ministry at Rs 2,133.55 crore as against the revised estimate of Rs 1,731.14 crore.

The plan outlay continued to get priority and a provision was provided with Rs 2,121 crore as against the revised estimate of the previous year at Rs 1,719.71 crore.

The Central Assistance for State Plan got the highest allocation in the Ministry which accounted to Rs 1,316 crore as against the revised estimate of the previous year at Rs 1,216.71 crores.

The allocation towards the Welfare of Scheduled Tribes was to the tune of Rs 1993.46 crore as against the revised estimate of the previous year at Rs 1637.67 crore.

The provision is for expenditure on the secretariat of the Tribal Affairs Ministry. This also includes grants sanctioned by the Tribal Affairs Minister to deserving organisations and institutions working in the field of triabl welfare and also to needy individuals.

Under the scheme, grants-in-aid are given to the state governments on matching basis on a 50:50 ratio and 100 per cent in the case of Union Teritories to promote educational facilities in tribal areas like establishment of residential schemes for Scheduled Tribes (ST) in environment conducive to learning.

The objective of the Scheme of Post Matric Scholarship is to provide financial assistance to ST students to pursue recognised post-matriculation courses as indicated in the schemes for 100 per cent central Assistance to the State Government and Union Teritory Administrations implementing the scheme, over and above their respective committed liability, which is required to be borne by them through their own resources.

The committed liability in respect of North Eastern States has been dispensed with the commencement of the 9th five year Plan period. The scheme of Book bank has been merged with PMS and becomes a component of the PMS scheme.

Presently, there are 2,474 forest villages and habitations spread over 12 States. Under this programme infrastructure work relating to basic services and facilities are taken up for implementation.

The Ministry's provision would provide grants to 22 Tribal sub Plan (TSP) States and four Tribal Majority states for creating critical infrastructrural projects in the tribal areas for the welfare of STs and for raising the level of administration of scheduled Areas therein to that of rest of the State, with a view to bringing them at par with the rest of the developed areas.

Since 2000-01, assistance under Article 275(1) has been projectised and new guidelines were issued in 2002-03.

UNI/BKS MS RN1745

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