New Delhi: The Government of India (GoI)has cleared misgivings over the zerodraftwhich sought a techno-legal suggestions in the Indian Forest Act, 1927. Speaking to media persons at a Press Briefing in New Delhi today, the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Shri Prakash Javadekar categorically stated that the Central Government for past 5 years have always worked in the interests of tribals and forest dwellers and as such will not give space to misgivings, “We are completely withdrawing the draft amendment to the Indian Forests Act to remove any misgivings,the tribal rights will be protected fully and they will continue to be the important stakeholder in forest development”, said Shri Javadekar. He also further clarified that it was a techno-legal exercise by officials to carry out an assessment which sought suggestions from various states and the document was circulated to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of each states.
The Environment Minister also highlighted the continued commitment bythe Central Government to enrich the livelihood of tribals and forest dwellers, “We have supported not only with finances and more welfare schemes but have also ensured Minimum Support price for their forest produce and have also allotted various of hectares of land during this 5 years by giving them titles of ownership”, stated the Environment Minister.
Echoing similar sentiments,Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Shri Arjun Mundaalso welcomed the move of withdrawal, “By withdrawing the draft amendment of Forest Act 1927, the Government of India reiterated the commitment that water-forest-land and tribal are synonymous with each other, their interests will not be ignored”, said Shri Munda.