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New Delhi: The budgetary allocation for the Tribal Affairs Ministry for 2019-20 has been hiked by around 15 per cent, with the central government focusing on critical infrastructure projects for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes.

However, the budgetary allocation for tribal education saw a marginal increment -- from Rs 1,953.03 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 1,953.50 crore in 2019-20.

The government has earmarked Rs 6,814.96 crore for the ministry as compared to Rs 6,000 crore in 2018-19.

Grants under proviso to Article 275 (1) of the Constitution have been increased from Rs 1,820 crore to Rs 2,662.55 crore -- an increment of over 46 per cent.

Under this provision, grants are given to 23 states having notified Scheduled Tribes (STs) and four tribal-majority states for creating critical infrastructural projects in tribal areas for raising the level of administration of scheduled areas.

Grant-in-aid for state governments has been increased from Rs 4,946.74 crore to Rs 5,659.24 crore. However, the provision for Union Territory governments has been reduced from Rs 1.02 crore to just Rs 3 lakh.

The provision for the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana has been hiked from Rs 374.97 crore to Rs 406.52 crore -- an increase of 8.4 per cent.

Under the scheme, grant-in-aid is given to states concerned for the development of particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) in a comprehensive manner while retaining their culture and heritage.

Also, as a measure of social safety for minor forest produce (MFP) gatherers, who are mainly STs, fair returns are ensured for identified MFPs collected by them, along with necessary infrastructure at local level.

The allocation for scholarships to ST students for higher education and overseas studies remains unchanged at Rs 102 crore.

The monetary support for tribal institutions, including the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) -- responsible for development and marketing of tribal products -- and voluntary organisations working for Scheduled Tribes, has been increased from Rs 72.5 crore to Rs 83 crore.

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