Extensive amendment to forest law will dehumanise forests

Down To Earth | Ishan Kukreti | April 18, 2019

As 300 million forest dwellers across India heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court stayed its own order to evict encroachers on February 28 this year, the Union government was sharpening its axe with a new amendment to the Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1927. On March 7, a document marked “secret” landed on the desks of forest chiefs in all states. It was sent by Noyal Thomas, India’s Inspector General of Forests (forest policy), and it contained a proposal to replace IFA, the colonial Act. For the first time, a calculated move was being made to dismantle the community-driven forest governance and strengthen the hands of the forest bureaucracy. Read more

Tribal sub plans fail under Modi regime; Adivasis deprived of benefits in last five years

National Herald | Krishna Jha/IPA | April 16, 2019

Among the objectives of the Tribal Sub Plan has been to look after the basic needs of the tribals. The records show that the money was spent, but never to serve the needs of the targeted masses

Each of government plan has its own tragic story. One burning example is Tribal Sub Plan (TSP). Brain child of Planning Commission, it became Scheduled Tribe Component as the Planning Commission became NITI Ayog.  Read more

SC notice to Centre, Odisha on plea to cancel 358 mining leases

Odisha Sun Times | April 17, 2019

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Centre, Odisha, Karnataka and the CBI on a PIL seeking cancellation of 358 iron ore mining leases which were allocated or their duration extended without any fresh evaluation and adopting the due auction process.

Also seeking response on the plea for quashing of Section 8A of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, the bench of Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer appointed senior counsel P.S. Narasimha as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.

The PIL says that the Section 8A of the MMDR Act, 1957, which provides for grant of a mining lease for minerals other than coal, lignite and atomic minerals, is “illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional”. Read more

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

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