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November 30, 2013

New ministry for Tribal Development to be launched on 3rd December

New ministry for Tribal Development to be launched on 3rd December

The state government has decided to create a tribal development department on December 3, the move apparently aimed at focusing on projects in the tribal-dominated areas of Jangalmahal and North Bengal.

The department, to be headed by Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee, will be carved out of the backward classes welfare department. The tribal development department will be launched at a programme in Netaji Indoor Stadium.

Tribals make up 6 per cent of Bengal`s population of 9 crore. “The chief minister`s decision to take charge of the proposed department makes it clear that she wants to focus on these areas,“ an official said.

The backward classes welfare department runs several projects, including old-age pension for 1.3 lakh people belonging to the Scheduled Tribes, the Scheduled Castes and the Other Backward Classes. Each beneficiary gets Rs 1,000 a month. Of the 1.3 lakh beneficiaries, about 25,000 are tribals. The new department will look after the pension scheme for the tribal beneficiaries.

The new department will also monitor the central tribal sub-plan, which envisions projects for tribal-dominated areas. Scholarships for tribal students will also come under the jurisdiction of the new department. As the department will be under the chief minister, it is expected that these projects will gain momentum.