GoM yet to submit report on ST status

GUWAHATI, Jan 5 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/5/2021 11:24:28 AM IST

The Group of Ministers formed by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to suggest measures for granting the status of Scheduled Tribe to six communities of the State is yet to submit its recommendations and the date for finalization of the report has not been fixed.

 Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the Group of Ministers headed by Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ,held two rounds of discussions with all the stakeholders twice so far to know their views. The existing Scheduled Tribe communities as well as the communities demanding the status of Scheduled Tribe were involved in the process of talks. The last round of talks was held in October last year. The date for the next round of meeting of the Group of Ministers is yet to be finalized. Sources pointed out that the Government of India has already introduced a Bill in the Parliament for granting Scheduled Tribe status to six communities of the State – Koch Rajbongshi, Chutiya, Matak, Moran, Tai Ahom and Tea Tribes and the quantum of reservation to be given to the communities after they are given the status of Scheduled Tribe is yet to be finalized. Some existing Scheduled Tribes have also expressed apprehension that the rights and privileges enjoyed by them would be affected if six more communities are given Scheduled Tribe status.

Sources said that during the discussions with the existing Scheduled Tribes of the State, the Group of Ministers made it clear that the rights and privileges enjoyed by them would not be affected. “The six communities demanding the status of Scheduled Tribe are now categorized as Other Backward Classes and the quantum of reservations enjoyed by them after they get the status of Scheduled Tribe would change. 

The Group of Ministers will have to finalize the quantum of reservations without affecting the rights of the existing Scheduled Tribes including reservations in education, jobs, political reservations etc. The Group of Ministers decided to take the views of all the stakeholders into consideration so that there is no opposition when the Bill comes up for consideration in the Parliament, sources added.

Sources also said that after the Group of Ministers submits its report, it is likely to be cleared by the State Cabinet before the same is sent to the Government of India.

Meanwhile, sources said that in recent times, the flow of funds from Government of India for providing scholarship to the tribal students has improved. There was a time when there was a backlog of four to five years because of the delay on the part of the Centre in releasing funds. But the situation has now improved and the scholarships are released on time, sources added.



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