The CPI(M) today opposed the Draft National Forest Policy as a pro-privatisation and anti-tribal document and demanded that a committee comprising people working to preserve the environment and the rights of tribal communities be set up to redraft the policy.
"The Draft National Forest Policy should be withdrawn," she said in the note.
"A committee comprising organisations and individuals working to preserve the environment, forests and the rights of tribal communities and traditional forest dwellers should be set up to redraft the policy within the framework of the Forest Rights Act and other laws which protect and recognise the role of tribal communities in preserving India's rich bio-diversity and her natural forests," she demanded.
The CPI(M) politburo member has accused the ministry of doing "everything possible to hasten the privatisation of forests and to eliminate the rights of tribal communities".
Karat said the main thrust of the draft is to privatise forests and the party believes that the policy document is a continuation of the unjust and pro-corporate process established by the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act.
"This highly-flawed law had eliminated the rights of tribal communities, other traditional forest dwellers and gram sabhas for access and management of forests and their produce," she complained.
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