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Jan 31 meet of tribal dept to decide on NCST observations

Panaji: The Minister for Tribal Welfare, Govind Gaude on Monday said that he has convened a meeting of the officers of tribal department on January 31, to decide on the recent observations of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) as regards welfare of tribal population in Goa.

It may be recalled that the members of the NCST, who recently visited Goa reviewed the work carried out by the state government for the welfare of the tribal community and issues pertaining to job recruitment, education, implementation of Forest Rights Act and so on.

The team of the Commission headed by its chairperson Dr Nand Kumar Sai had expressed dissatisfaction over the work done by the state government in this context.

Interacting with the pressmen, Gaude said that the state government is under pressure due to these observations, and it has been found that lack of co-ordination between the concerned government officials is responsible for injustice on the Goan tribal population. “I feel that absence of understanding among various departments, which are linked to the Forest Rights Act is to be blamed for this mess,” he admitted.

Speaking further, Gaude said that he is very serious in this matter and has already given necessary directions to the concerned officials. “The January 31 meeting will take a stock of the things undertaken by the government for the local tribal population, including number of Sanads handed over to the members of this population,” he informed, pointing out that had this work been carried out six years ago, the matter as regards forest rights would have been long settled.

The Minister for Tribal Welfare has also discussed the matter with the district collectors and secretary for Tribal Welfare.

Stating that he is unaware about the six-month deadline given by the Commission to the state government for settling all the claims received under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, Gaude said that it is also the duty of the Commission to look after what the state is
doing.

Replying to a question, Gaude said that the work of clearing backlog of vacancies reserved for tribal population, in government jobs is continuing, and a related report from all major government departments has already been taken. “Last time, there was a backlog of 1,200-odd such posts,” he informed, adding that now some new posts have also been
created.

The Minister for Tribal Welfare stated that there is no backlog of vacancies for tribal in his departments like tribal welfare, civil supplies and consumer affairs. He further assured that all the funds under tribal sub-plan lying unused with various departments, would now be re-appropriated to the nodal department that is tribal welfare department.[NT]

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