Increased Budget outlay for Tribal Development

by Feb 11, 2023Welfare0 comments

In his intervention in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to pass President Draupadi Murmu’s first address to the joint session of parliament this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dealt at a greater length how his government has undertaken many measures in the last nine years towards the development of the tribals in the country , hitherto grossly neglected . He highlighted how each passing year in his regime has seen increased budgetary outlays for the Ministry of Tribal Welfare.

For instance, in the Budget for FY 2023-24, the overall outlay for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is Rs. 12461.88 cr, i.e an increase of 70.69% over the previous year’s Revised Estimate (RE) of Rs.7301.00 crore.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made the following announcements for the betterment of Tribals :

(i) Pradhan Mantri PVTG Development Mission – to saturate the PVTG families and habitations with basic facilities such as safe housing, clean drinking water and sanitation, improved access to education, health and nutrition, road and telecom connectivity and sustainable livelihood opportunities. An allocation of Rs.15,000 cr. will be made for this Mission in the next three years.

(ii) National Sickle Cell Elimination Mission – to be implemented jointly by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with ICMR and States concerned. The Mission will cover preventive, curative and management aspects of this genetic disease in an integrated manner.

(iii) Central Recruitment of Teachers for EMRSs – A total of 38,000 teachers and support staff shall be recruited in the next few years for the Ekalavya Model Residential Schools which will benefit 3.5 lakh tribal students.

Increase in Allocations

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal Ministry for the overall policy, planning and coordination of programs for the development of the Scheduled Tribes. The programs and schemes of the Ministry support and supplement, through financial assistance, the efforts of other Central Ministries, the State Governments, and voluntary organizations, and fill critical gaps taking into account the needs of Scheduled Tribes. To enable the Ministry to achieve its objectives, there has been enhanced budgetary allocation for the Ministry Tribal Affairs for welfare of STs over the years. The budget allocation of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been substantially increased from Rs.4295.94 crore in 2013-14 to Rs.12461.88 crore in 2023-24 i.e. an increase of around 190.01%.

Under Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) now known as Development Action Plan for Scheduled Tribes (DAPST), besides Ministry of Tribal Affairs, 41 Ministries/ Departments are allocating funds in the range of 4.3 to 17.5 per cent of their total scheme allocation every year for tribal development projects relating to education, health, agriculture, irrigation, roads, housing, electrification, employment generation, skill development, etc. DAPST fund allocation has increased about five and half times since 2013-14 (from Rs.21,525.36 crore (Actual Expenditure) in 2013-14 to Rs.1,17,943.73 crore in BE 2023-24).

Shri Arjun Munda, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, noted that, “I congratulate Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman for declaring a comprehensive Budget that focuses on tribal affairs and related concerns. This budget emphasises on the provision of various benefits and equal opportunities for tribals in remote regions of our country, reaching the last mile. Considering this vision, our Ministry has prepared a roadmap for the upliftment, empowerment, and welfare of tribals and will collaborate with other central Ministries for building a strong and progressive India.”

The focus of Government has been overall development of STs and bringing them at par with the other communities in the country. Government has taken various steps for the development of tribals under DAPST of the schemes of the obligated Ministries/Department. There have been considerable improvements in socio-economic conditions of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), for example, literacy rate for STs has improved from 59% (Census) in 2011 to 71.6% (as per Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report (July 2020 – June 2021), bringing down the gap between overall and ST literacy from 14 percent between 2001-2011 to 7.5 percent between 2011-2021. Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at upper Primary level has improved from 91.3 (2013-14) to 98 (2021-22); GER for ST students at secondary level (IX-X) has increased from 70.2 (2013-14) to 78.1 (2021-22); GER for ST students at senior secondary level (XI-XII) has increased from 35.4 (2013-14) to 52.0 (2021-22) and GER for ST students at higher education level has increased from 13.7 (2014-15) to 18.9 (2020-21).

Important Programmes

– Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) will be provided Rs.5943 Crore for accelerated construction.

New EMRS schools are being constructed at a unit cost of Rs.38 Crore in plain areas and Rs.48 Crore in hilly and difficult areas.

After making a new Central Sector Scheme of EMRS since 2019, 402 new EMRSs have been sanctioned. It is targeted to establish 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools in blocks with 50% or more and 20,000 ST Population.

Already about 400 EMRSs have become functional with over 1,13,000 students, of whom over 57,000 are girls.

These EMRSs will have facilities for nurturing the natural sports talent of the tribal students. There will be provisions of science and computer labs, skill development, art, craft and music.

– Livelihood for tribal families: In line with the priorities announced in the Budget, special focus will be given for providing remunerative livelihood to tribal families. A provision of Rs.288 crore has been made to be implemented through TRIFED, through formation of Self Help Groups and producer enterprises. Special attention will be given to form more Van Dhan Vikas Kendras, to function in cooperative mode. Organic farming, medicinal plants, millets and food processing will be the important areas, to be done through these tribal self help groups, apart from skill-development and craft-training, with appropriate credit and marketing facilities.

– Scholarship to ST Students: Rs.2531 crore has been provided for giving scholarship to ST students studying from class IX up to Ph.D levels.

– PM Adi Adarsh Gram Yojana: Rs.1485 crore provided for comprehensive development of villages with significant tribal population.

– Grant Support to States : Rs.1472 crore is provided for giving grants to States with ST population for development of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x