Taking note of the fact that several such villages were left out from the Scheduled Area list, Union Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo said, "This needs to be looked into urgently. There are several such villages which have yet not been included in the Scheduled Area list. This has hampered implementation of several government projects for forest dwellers."
The ministry conducted a day-long meeting to take stock of implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) by various states and asked them to take necessary steps to hasten the process of benefiting maximum number of forest dwellers. The ministry also flagged out issues for active consideration by states in the interest of triabls.
"Several states gave presentation of the work they have done to implement FRA. Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have take some concrete steps while states like Himachal Pradesh have lagged behind," Deo told reporters.
On guidelines regarding tiger conservation, he said, "It has to be put in proper perspective to safeguard the interest of tribals and forest dwellers."
The state government also gave presentation of the steps taken by them for implementing FRA.
"Another important issues was implementation of panchayat extension to Scheduled Area. Only three states have worked in this regard even after 15 years of its enactment," he said, adding that six states have been asked to take necessary action.
Observing that role played by Forest Management Committees is going against the spirit of FRA, Deo said, "It is the gram sabhas which have final say in these affairs."
The Ministry also took note of the fact that various states have refused to include several products in the list of forest produces.
"Products like bamboo and tendu leaves have been excluded from the list of forest produces by various states. This is not acceptable as these are items are grown in forests and tribals have primary rights over them," he said.
On whether states will be given a timeline for proper implementation of FRA, the minister denied any such proposal.