A parliamentary committee has expressed "utmost concern" over lower fund allocation for tribals this year and has pulled up the Tribal Affairs Ministry for not seriously pursuing the matter with the Finance Ministry and the Planning Commission for a higher budget.
In a report, which was tabled in the Parliament today, the Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment has also asked the Ministry to apprise it of the action taken by it in this regard.
"The committee had noted with utmost concern that against an outlay of Rs 9,665 crore asked for its Annual Plan by the Ministry during the year 2012-13, the Planning Commission had allocated only Rs 4,090 crore," the report said.
Due to this reduced allocation, which is about 50 per cent of the demanded outlay, the proposed new initiatives like Adivasi Bhavan, National Tribal Information System, 114 new schools-cum-vocational training centres in Left-Wing Extremist tribal districts, could not be taken up during the current financial year.
Reacting strongly to the action taken report submitted by the Ministry, the report said, "The Committee would like to express strong dissatisfaction with reply of the government. The Committee feels that the Ministry is not pursuing seriously with the Finance Ministry and the Planning Commission for an increased allocation."
On the delay in implementation of Dr Mungekar Committee report for improving delivery system in the states, the panel said, "Expeditious action shall be taken to finalise the National Tribal Policy in conjunction with the recommendations of Dr Mungekar Committee report and the same be placed before Parliament within three months for their consideration."
Taking note of the slow progress in distribution of title deeds under ST and Other Traditional Forest Dweller Act, the committee asked the Ministry to involve itself in the implementation process and appropriately guide the states.
"State governments should be sensitised about their obligations towards the Act and persuaded to initiate action at the earliest so that the work of distribution to title deeds take off without any further delay," the report said.