Under “The Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas), Act 1996” (PESA), State Legislatures have been empowered to frame all laws concerning the extension of the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the Panchayats in Fifth Scheduled Areas, subject to such exceptions and modifications as are provided in section 4 of the Act. The Government has no proposal under consideration to bring about changes in the existing PESA Act.
The government of India has formulated the National Rehabilitation & Resettlement Policy, 2007 to minimize large-scale displacement, as far as possible. The Policy also provides comprehensive rehabilitation & resettlement benefits to the displaced families. The policy covers all projects leading to involuntary displacement of people. Para 7.21of this Policy envisages special provisions for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes, which requires consultation with the concerned gram sabha or the panchayats at the appropriate level in the Scheduled Areas under Fifth Schedule of the Constitution in accordance with PESA. Each affected family of Scheduled Tribe followed by Scheduled Caste shall be given allotment of land for land, if Government Land is available in the resettlement Area.
PESA is an Act to provide for the extension of the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the Panchayats to the Scheduled Areas. In terms of section 2 of this Act, “Scheduled Areas” means the Scheduled Areas as referred to in clause (1) of article 244 of the Constitution. The State of Bihar is not covered under this definition. Out of the ten PESA States, six States namely Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Telangana have framed their State PESA Rules.
This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.