Raipur: Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel has written letter to Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Mr. Arjun Munda, requesting immediate approval of proposals worth Rs 234 crore 18 lakh for minor forest produce based development, in the larger interest of tribal people in Chhattisgarh.
In the letter, Chief Minister has stated that 44 percent of the geographical area in Chhattisgarh is covered in forests and 31.80 percent of the population belongs to tribal community. Under Government of India’s Minimum Support Price Scheme, 38 kinds of minor forest produce along with 14 others types of minor forest produce are procured at the rate fixed by State Government. In year 2020-21,minor forest produce worth nearly Rs 115 crore rupees have been procured at minimum support price so far.
This scheme has played an important role in providing employment to tribal people and forest dwellers during COVID crisis. In year 2020-21, Chhattisgarh secured first rank in the country for collecting 72.5 percent of the total minor forest produce collection under Minimum Support Price Scheme. Similarly, under Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana, 139 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras have been established and more than 120 herbals products are being manufactured and sold under the brand name of ‘Chhattisgarh Herbals’.
Chief Minister further stated in the letter to Union Minister that – Both the aforementioned schemes conducted under your leadership are being implemented with full efficiency by the state government. Furthering this effort, State Government has sent proposals for minor forest produce based development to largely benefit the forest dwellers. This includes the proposal worth Rs. 100 crore for working capital for collection of minor forest produce at minimum support price, proposal worth Rs 21.91 crore for reimbursement of business losses incurred under Minimum Support Price Scheme. Proposals include in year 2014-15 and in 2015-16, proposal worth Rs 46.50 crore for development of infrastructure to facilitate minor forest produce related works and proposal worth Rs 65.77 crore for livelihood development in scheduled areas under COVID-19 pandemic response plan. Chief Minister has requested the Union Minister to approve these proposals and sanction funds under the same as soon as possible.