A delegation representing the interests of tribals met the Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, and demanded allocation for the tribal populace in the Union Budget to be presented next month.
“We met the Finance Minister yesterday and demanded that funds should be allocated for tribals in all ministries under the tribal sub-plan,” CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and part of the 'Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch' Brinda Karat told reporters here on Thursday.
Ms. Karat said there was a shortfall of Rs. 20,000 crore in the tribal sub-plan. “Tribal farmers have not benefited from the debt waiver either”.
Moreover, though the value of minor forest produce was very large, the Minimum Support Price was nowhere near the market price.
The delegation, during its over 30-minute-meeting with the Union Finance Minister, also demanded specific budgetary allocation and schemes for tribals and an increase in tribal student scholarships as well as BPL cards for all tribals.
“The Finance Minister has assured us that he will look into all these demands,” Ms. Karat said.
Asked whether they were satisfied with the performance of the Tribal Affairs Ministry, she said the ministry is highly marginalised. It does not even have required number of officials, she said.