Economic benefits must reach Adivasis: Jairam

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh interacts with women in a Maoist-affected area in Malkangiri district of Odisha on Monday. Photo: PTI  

Maintaining his pro-Adivasi approach, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday said the time had come to make changes in the country's economic policy keeping the interests of the Adivasi population in view.

“Though the country has achieved enough economic progress, the benefit of our economic policy has not reached the Adivasi people so far. The injustice done to the Adivasis needs to be corrected with concern and care,” Mr. Ramesh said, while expressing concern over the growth of Maoists in different regions of the country.

Addressing a meeting of newly-elected members of Panchayati Raj institutions (PRI) in this Maoist-affected district in Odisha, Mr. Ramesh stressed the need for proper implementation of the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act.

He said no tribal land should be acquired for any purpose without the consent of the Palli Sabha. Measures must be taken to ensure local Adivasis got the benefits of any mining done in their areas.

Observing that a large number of Adivasi people were in jail without any reason in different States, Mr. Ramesh said the tribals needed not only employment but justice and dignity too.

The Minister said proper implementation of developmental projects and welfare schemes, increased political activity by all major parties and security measures should go hand-in-hand to counter the growth in the Maoist ranks.

Mr. Ramesh said parties should expand their activities in the country's interior pockets, and increasingly reach out to the local youths to prevent them joining the Maoists. “It would be too late if parties such as the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, and the Biju Janata Dal don't increase their activities.”

During his daylong trip, Mr. Ramesh also visited a mango plantation project, laid the foundation for several new projects, including a welfare complex that would come up at a place where the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, addressed a public meeting a day before her assassination in October, 1984.

He also reviewed the implementation of various rural development schemes in the district and interacted with representatives of NGOs.

The Minister is scheduled to visit Sukma district in neighbouring Chhattisgarh, where he will interact with PRI members and administration officials.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 3:30:37 PM |

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