Government has taken steps to ensure central funds reach poor: Narendra Modi

Money Control | April 16, 2019

PM Modi’s statement was a counter to the recent claim by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that the Centre has no sympathy for the farmers of the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 16 said his government has taken measures to weed out Congress-aided middlemen to ensure that the entire central funds percolate down to the poor. He also announced a slew of measures for the welfare of farmers and fishermen, if the BJP was voted to power.

Mounting a blistering attack on the Congress, Modi accused it of being a silent spectator to the loot of public money besides being embroiled in multiple controversies and scams before the BJP-led government put brakes on these corrupt practices. “During the Congress era, only 15 paise of a rupee would reach the poor and the rest was swindled by unscrupulous elements. No one bothered to stop it. Now, we have ensured that central funds reach the poor,” Modi said, addressing a rally here in western Odisha. Read more

K’taka mining dependents stage protest at Jantar Mantar

Deccan Herald | April 16, 2019

Mining dependents of Karnataka on Tuesday staged a protest here at Jantar Mantar to press for non-discriminatory practices in iron ore trade in the state and sought immediate action by the Centre in “rescuing their livelihoods from prejudiced policies” prevailing in the state.

“Around 600 people of Karnataka Gani Avalambithara Vedike (KGAV), consisting of iron ore mining dependants from Bellary, Hospet, Chitradurga districts and surrounding mining belt gathered for a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi today,” KGAV, which represents mining dependents, said in a statement. Read more

Govt Money Meant for Adivasi Development Is Being Used to Support Mining

The Wire | Sanjoy Basu, Neeraj Kumar and Shashi Shekhar | April 16, 2019

The tribal sub-plan fund is being siphoned off in ways that may prove highly dangerous for Adivasi communities.

The tribal sub-plan is a strategy recommended by the Planning Commission and opted by the government of India. It is a fund meant for tribal areas and communities affected by mining.

All ministries are required to contribute a specific part of their budget to the tribal sub-plan. During the last few years, the fund has received hundreds of crores of rupees. But where was the money spent? Read more

States to address tribal forest rights after Lok Sabha elections 2019

The New Indian Express | April 15, 2019

In an interim order on February 13, the Supreme Court had directed 21 states to evict 11.8 lakh illegal forest dwellers whose forest rights claims were rejected by state authorities.

NEW DELHI: After the states missed the 15-day deadline to submit data on the rejection of forest rights claims in March, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has decided to collect phase-wise data, depending on when the Lok Sabha polls conclude in the states.

In an interim order on February 13, the Supreme Court had directed 21 states to evict 11.8 lakh illegal forest dwellers whose forest rights claims were rejected by state authorities. Later, the apex court stayed the order. Read more

How to kill a forest

The Hindu | Soumya Sarkar | April 13, 2019

On a fine morning in the spring of 1974, a small girl ran to Gaura Devi, raising an alarm that loggers had come to cut down trees in the mountain forest. On that day (March 25), there were no men present in the remote village of Reni in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Gaura Devi gathered the women in the village and rushed to confront the contractor.

An argument ensued. The men with axes refused to budge. But the women of Reni were not to be cowed down. In a flash of inspiration, they decided to hug the trees and the loggers had not option but to leave. It was a high point in an epochal environmental movement that resonates even today, at a time when new moves are afoot to separate India’s forests from her people. Read more

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