Several measures have been taken by the Government to improve livelihood of Tribals especially during COVID situations

New Delhi : Ministry of Tribal Affairs provided funds to the State Governments based on their proposals for undertaking various livelihood activities including agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries and other non-farm based livelihood activities etc. under the schemes ‘Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Scheme (SCA to TSS)’, ‘Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)’ and ‘Grants under Article 275(1)’ during 2020-21. An amount of Rs. 587.47 crore was approved / sanctioned to various State Governments for undertaking various livelihood activities.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been implementing the Scheme of ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ since 2013-14, with an objective of providing fair price to MFP gatherers, enhance their income level and ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED conducted a series of meetings through webinar with Chief Ministers,  Members of Parliament of reserved constituencies, State Nodal Departments/State Implementing Agencies, advising the States about initiating procurement of MFPs and taking other livelihood measures.

The Ministry revised minimum support prices of MFP with a purpose of providing enhanced income to tribal gatherers. Further, additional 37 MFP items have also been included in the list of MSP for MFP Scheme to expand the ambit and coverage of the scheme vide notification dated 26.5.2020 and 11.11.2020. Thus, the Scheme currently covers a total 87 items.

On request of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs vide Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 16/04/20 issued guidelines aiming to relax the provisions of lockdown for Collection, harvesting and processing of Minor Forest Produce(MFP)/ Non Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) by STs and other forest dwellers in forest areas across the country.

Under the scheme of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), TRIFED also implements the initiative of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs), launched in 2018-19, wherein tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce centric multi-purpose Kendras are set up in predominantly tribal districts which act as common facility centres for procurement cum value addition to locally available MFPs. Under Van Dhan Yojanastarting from 27 Aug 2019 onwards, TRIFED has  sanctioned  Van Dhan Vikas Kendras consisting of 34,125 VanDhan Self Help groups in 24 States and 2 UTs, in which 6.77 lakh Tribal women forest gatherers have been on boarded. A total of Rs. 336.95 crore has been sanctioned by TRIFED for the purpose.

The ongoing intervention under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMJKAY) has been extended for a further period of five months till November, 2021, wherein, provision is there to provide an additional allocation of 5kg of food grains (wheat / rice), free of cost to around 80 crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries including tribal people.

Further, funds to the tune of Rs. 12355.43 crore have been provided as Scheduled Tribe Component (STC) by the other Central Ministries / Departments under livelihood related schemes during 2020-21 and 2021-22.

This information was given by Minister of State for Tribal Affairs  Renuka Singh Saruta in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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