The Jharkhand government on Thursday admitted that primitive tribes in the State were extremely backward, but denied the opposition claims that most of the welfare schemes meant for them were not seen on the ground.

“The population of primitive tribes is 3.5 per cent, as per the 2001 census. The government has taken up schemes to improve their economic condition,” Welfare Minister Hussain Ansari informed the State Assembly.

Paharia, Khagaria, Birhor and Asur are some of the primite tribes found in Jharkhand.

Replying to a starred query of Congress MLA K.N. Tripathy, the minister said Paharia Divakalin Vidyalaya, Vocational Education, Paharia Health Scheme, Bharat Darshan, direct employment (of primitive tribes in government jobs) were some of the ongoing welfare schemes for the primitive tribes.

Mr. Tripathy, however, claimed that none of the schemes mentioned by the Minister was found on the ground anywhere in the state. “Are those schemes on paper only?” he asked.

Dismissing the MLA’s claim, Mr. Hussain said his ministry was also providing conservation-cum-development, under which primitive tribes get solar-driven projects.

Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch MLA Bandhu Tirkey, who supported the ruling Shibu Soren coalition from outside, said a 20-member SC/ST girls team was sent for pilot training last year but they returned as there was neither hostel facility nor any trainers to impart pilot training to them.