Govt withdraws draft changes in forest law citing “misgivings”

at 12:48 pm
Environment Minister Praksah Javadekar and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda at a media briefing in New Delhi on November 15.

New Delhi (NVI): The government has withdrawn the draft amendment to the Indian Forests Act, 1927 to clear “misgivings” about the rights of tribals and forest dwellers.

The Government has cleared misgivings over the zero draft, which sought a techno-legal suggestions in the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

Addressing the media yesterday Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “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.

He said the Central Government for the past five years has always worked in the interests of tribals and forest dwellers and as such will not give space to misgivings.

He 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 state.

Highlighting the commitment of the government to enrich the livelihood of tribals and forest dwellers, Javadekar said, “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 several hectares of land during the last five years by giving them titles of ownership”.

Meanwhile welcoming the move, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said, “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”.