A separate Scheduled Tribes commission will be established in Maharashtra, following the model of the central government, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced today after the meeting of the Tribal Advisory Council of Maharashtra.
A proposal regarding the formation of the Scheduled Tribes (ST) commission was approved during the meeting of the Tribal Advisory Council, chaired by CM Shinde. The meeting also discussed proposals related to the restructuring of Tribal Areas in the state, allocation of funds based on population, and the establishment of project offices in talukas of tribal districts.
The meeting, held at Mantralaya, was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Deputy Speaker of the legislative assembly Narhari Zirwal, Tribal Welfare Minister Dr. Vijaykumar Gavit, FDA Minister Dharmarao Baba Atram, and MPs and MLAs from tribal areas of the state.
Regarding the formation of a separate ST commission, the Law and Judiciary Department has been consulted, and the Tribal Research and Training Institute has prepared a draft of the act. In the 51st meeting of the Tribal Advisory Council, the proposal was accepted and sent for further action.
During the meeting, the issue of funds allocated for tribal development that lapse if not spent within the stipulated time period was discussed in detail. CM Shinde directed officials to release all funds designated for Tribal Welfare by December each year, ensuring they are never diverted to other departments. He also emphasized the importance of ensuring the quality of work in tribal areas.
The meeting also deliberated on the appointment of full-time IAS officers in 11 ultra-sensitive project offices in the state. The CM emphasized that project officers should regularly visit tribal residential schools in their designated areas. Decision to create project offices at the taluka level was made at the meeting, and some tribal blocks were identified as aspirational blocks.
Currently, Maharashtra has 13 tribal districts, with 26 completely tribal blocks and 36 partially tribal blocks. Under the proposal for the restructuring of the tribal sector in the state, several new villages are proposed to be added to the tribal area. All the people's representatives agreed that the Tribal Welfare Minister should finalize the draft proposal in this regard.