New Delhi, Nov 15 : Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday said the government has no intention of changing the Forest Protection Act and there was a misunderstanding on the draft, hence it is being withdrawn.
'The government has no intention of changing the Forest Protection Act. There was a misunderstanding on the draft, hence we are withdrawing it,' Mr Javadekar said while addressing a press conference here.
'There is no plan to change the Tribal act and we have no intention of doing it also,' he stressed.
He said Forest Rights Act, 1927 has been amended in 11 states and made their laws. 'All the information was collected and studied by stakeholders. There was a misconception that that this was government's draft,' he stated.
'Tribals are our partners and we plan to be their helpers. Our government is in favour of empowering the tribals,' he stressed , adding that more than 13,000 square kilometre tree cover increased in the last five years in India
Forest rights activists and tribal welfare organisations have said the new law will divest millions of tribal and forest dwellers of their rights. The central government has sent the draft bill to state governments for consultation. (UNI)