Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) has constituted a team of officers to prepare the roadmap and take necessary measures for implementation/realization of initiatives to restore growth in the economy after the Covid-19 Pandemic. On request of MoTA, the Ministry of Home Affairs has vide Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 16/04/20 issued guidelines aiming to relax the provisions of lockdown for Collection, harvesting and processing of Minor Forest Produce(MFP)/ Non Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) by STs and other forest dwellers in forest areas across the country.
MoTA also revised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), offering much-needed support to tribal gatherers in view of the exceptional and very difficult circumstances prevailing in the country due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. To provide a fillip to the Income generating activities of tribals through MFP Procurements, revised MSP for MFP guidelines were issued on May 1 2020, which increased the MSP prices of the MFPs and helped in providing higher incomes for the tribal gatherers. Moreover, on May 26, 2020, the MoTA also added 23 new items under the MSP for MFP list taking the total number of MFPs under the scheme to 73. These items include agricultural and horticultural produce collected by tribal gatherers.
The COVID response team of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs formulated a COVID-19 Pandemic response plan for Scheduled Tribe livelihood and Health. The same has been approved by the Secretary, Tribal Affairs and is already circulated among various stakeholders for necessary action. States/UTs have been asked to utilize the funds from State TSP as well as submit a comprehensive proposal on these lines under various schemes of this Ministry.The steps included in the response plan are as under:
Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with Ministry of Rural Development has done mapping of sectoral gaps down to the level of Gram Panchayat & village. The data has been shared with all States who have been asked to work out strategies for mitigating sectoral gaps at village level including in the field of healthcare. This Ministry has also prepared a Tribal Health Action Plan which was shared with NITI Aayog, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, AYUSH and States in November 2019. There have been few rounds of discussion on this plan with NITI and MoHF&W and a joint VC was also called of State Tribal Secretaries and Health Secretaries with Secy Health and Secy Tribal Affairs with their officers.
In order to have updated data on the Health Infrastructure and manpower gaps in 177 tribal districts, MoTA has developed Swasthya Portal (swasthya.tribal.gov.in), wherein data from MoHF&W and MoWCD and from districts is being captured.
This information was given by Union Minister of State for Tribal AffairsSmt. Renuka singh saruta in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.