Concerned over a considerable cut in the budgetary proposal for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, a Parliamentary Committee has requested it to take up the matter with the Planning Commission and finance ministry again so that its allocation for this fiscal is augmented at the stage of making revised estimates.
The proposal for the ministry has been scaled down from Rs 2,468.56 crore to Rs 1,719.71 this fiscal.
"We have urged the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to take up the matter with the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance again so that the welfare and development of the tribal people do not suffer due to paucity of funds", the Committee said.
In its 23rd report presented to Lok Sabha, the Committee said the annual plan for the current year is a mere increase of 3.79 per cent over the corresponding figure of 2006-07 which was Rs 1,656.90 crore.
"This meant that the amount in real terms during the current year has come down if inflation is taken into consideration", the report on Demands for Grants (2007-08) of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs said.
The decline is "inexplicable" as some new schemes like National Institute of tribal Affairs (NITA), Institutes of Excellance/Top Class Education, National Overseas Scholarship Schemes, National Tribal Affairs Awards, Centre for Excellance and Habitat/Hamlet Development of Primitive Tribal Groups have also been launched, it said.