Environment and Forests & Tribal Affairs Ministries stand by forest rights, oppose any dilution of tribal rights in forest areas – New Delhi

Priscilla Jebaraj, The Hindu, NEW DELHI, January 25, 2013

In a joint strategy for their meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next week, Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and Tribal Affairs Minister Kishore Chandra Deo both reportedly plan to oppose any dilution of tribal rights in forest areas. This, despite the fact that their respective secretaries have signed on to a deal with the Prime Minister’s Office last month agreeing to such a dilution.

Highly placed sources at the Environment Ministry say that Ms. Natarajan has spoken to her counterpart at the Tribal Affairs to communicate her determination to stand firm by an August 2009 circular which requires local gram sabhas to certify that the rights of tribals and other forest dwellers have been settled under the Forest Resources Assessment process and to consent to the diversion of forest land for a project.

Mr. Deo has already made public his stance that the current norms should not be diluted, as it would violate the Forest Rights Act, a politically important legislation for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. […]

Environment Ministry sources say that Ms. Natarajan will point out that the PMO recommendations would effectively overturn key provisions of the FRA [Tribal Forest Rights Act 2006 which came into force in 2008]. If the government wishes, it should amend that law, rather than pressuring the green ministry to break the law, they said. […]

Source: The Hindu : News / National : Environment, Tribal Ministries to stand by forest rights while meeting PM
Address : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/environment-tribal-ministries-to-stand-by-forest-rights-while-meeting-pm/article4342108.ece
Date Visited: Mon Feb 11 2013 16:51:22 GMT+0100 (CET)

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