Government should amend the Panchayati Raj Act to empower the gram sabhas to protect the land rights of tribals, Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva said today while presenting the recommendations of a group of eight Governors before the President.
Speaking at the Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Alva said a uniform model for tribal sub-plan (TSP) budget allocations should be drafted ensuring that the allocations were made non-transferable and non-lapsable.
The group on the areas under Schedule V of the Constitution and Related Issues was constituted by Mukherjee.
It included Governors of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, with Governor of Maharashtra and Union Minister of Tribal Affairs as special invitee.
She said the present law, requiring consultation with gram sabha for acquisition of land, should be replaced by mandatory prior 'consent' of Gram Sabhas.
The states should create an effective legal and administrative framework to prevent alienation of tribals from their rightful land holdings while ensuring that in case they sell their land, they are not deprived of the rightful market price, she said.
The conference presided by President Pranab Mukherjee is being attended by Governors, Lt Governors, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and several Union Ministers.