Rs 7,524 crore allocated for tribal ministry, hike of 36 per cent

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) The government on Monday set aside Rs 7,524 crore for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the Union Budget for the financial year 2021-22, an increase of 36 per cent over the last fiscal year.

A sum of Rs 7,411 crore was allocated to the ministry in the financial year 2020-21, which was later revised to Rs 5,508 crore.

Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said it was the 'best budget so far', as it was prepared under unprecedented circumstances.

'The budget has been prepared keeping the qualitative development of all areas in mind. There is no example to describe what we went through due to COVID-19 in 2020,' he tweeted.

Of the total Rs 7,524 crore, the largest chunk -- Rs 2,393 crore -- has been allocated for 'tribal education'.

This time, Rs 250 crore has been earmarked for the development of particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs).

PVTGs are characterized by declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and economic backwardness.

During her third budget speech in Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to increase the unit cost of Eklavya Model Residential School from Rs 20 crore to Rs 38 crore, and to Rs 48 crore in hilly and difficult areas.

'This would help create robust infrastructure facilities for our tribal students,' she said.

The government has set a target of establishing 750 Eklavya Model Residential Schools in tribal areas, she added.

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