Changes in Forest Rights Act to help tribals
New Delhi, Sep 7 (PTI) Aiming to enhance livelihood prospects for tribals by providing them access to forest products, government has notified a series of changes in the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and has asked the state governments to implement them in a time bound and proper manner. "There were various shortcomings in the FRA and the rules were rather tardy and incompatible. We have been studying it and a small committee was formed to look into it. Based on its the recommendations we have finalised these rules," Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo told reporters here. The FRA was first framed in 2006 and its implementation was initiated in 2008. Asked about the nature of new rules, he said, "These will undo the years of injustice done to the tribals as no survey was conducted of the forest after 1927 during the British regime." The Minister said that bamboo- an important forest product- has now been notified as Minor Forest Product (MFP). "Now forest dwellers can commercially use bamboo to earn their livelihood. We have also allowed transportation of bamboo through any suitable mode," he said. As per the old rules, villagers were not allowed to commercially exploit bamboo without permission of the forest department and its transportation was allowed either through bicycle or bullock cart. "But there is no way to transport bamboo like this. So now all MFP can be transported by any appropriate mode of transport. These restrictions have been removed now," Deo added. He also mentioned that forest departments of various states had so far classified bamboo as tree of timber product. "They were quoting the 1927 Indian Forest Act which classified bamboo as a tree. They were trying to push the idea that bamboo is a tree or timber and after it falls it becomes bamboo. I think that is the most obnoxious way to put it," he said, adding that botanically bamboo is classified as grass. (More) PTI AD RTThe Great Diwali Discount!
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First Published on Sep 7, 2012 09:36 pm