The Indian government on Thursday cleared amendments to the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill to strengthen the conservation of tigers and other endangered species by checking crimes against them.
The bill seeks to constitute a National Tiger Conservation Authority, give the Project Tiger programme statutory status and bring all tiger-bearing forests under its jurisdiction for better conservation.
"The enactment of the bill with amendments would facilitate implementation of the urgent recommendations of the Tiger Task Force appointed by the prime minister, which have been accepted for implementation," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had constituted the Tiger Task Force in April 2005 - after the disappearance of the big cats from the Sariska wildlife sanctuary in Rajasthan - to review the management of tiger reserves, suggest measures to strengthen tiger conservation and provide incentives to the local communities living inside and outside forests.
Dasmunsi said the amended bill would strengthen conservation of tigers and other endangered species of wild animals through effective combating of wildlife crimes.
"A Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau will be constituted to check the crimes against the endangered animals," he said.
According to the minister, the amendment bill would reinforce the ongoing initiatives to conserve the tiger and other endangered wild animals in view of the existing threats and the need for viable habitat.
"It will address the growing concern of public in saving the tiger," Dasmunsi said.