Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bagel has appealed to the Union tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda via a letter urging for immediate approval to be granted for the proposals estimated to of ₹ 234.18 crore intended for minor-forest-produce-based development of the tribal population belonging to the state with the employment and tribal sustenance amid Covid-19 pandemic due to the success of the scheme.
Around 44 per cent of the geographical area in Chhattisgarh encompasses forests with as much as 31.8 per cent population to be inherently tribal.
In his letter directed to the Centre, Bhupesh Bagel wrote, “Under the Government of India’s Minimum Support Price Scheme, 38 kinds of minor forest produce along with 14 others types of minor forest produce are procured at the rate fixed by state government. In year 2020-21, minor forest produce worth nearly ₹115 crore rupees have been procured at minimum support price so far. This scheme has played an important role in providing employment to tribal people and forest dwellers during Covid-19 crisis. In year 2020-21, Chhattisgarh secured first rank in the country for collecting 72.5 percent of the total minor forest produce collection under Minimum Support Price Scheme. Similarly, under Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana, 139 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras have been established and more than 120 herbals products are being manufactured and sold under the brand name of ‘Chhattisgarh Herbals.”
Bagel further described about the proposal of the state government. In the letter he wrote, “This includes the proposal worth Rs.100 crore for working capital for collection of minor forest produce at minimum support price, proposal worth ₹21.91 crore for reimbursement of business losses incurred under the Minimum Support Price Scheme.”
He also reveals about the proposal which is estimated to be worth ₹ 65.67 crore directed for the livelihood development in the scheduled areas which are basically under the response plan of Covid-19 pandemic. Baghel added, “Hence, I request approve these proposals and sanction funds under the same as soon as possible.”
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