- March 26, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Polity
Context : 25 years on, many Indian states haven’t implemented a law that empowers Adivasi communities.
- PESA is a law enacted by Government of India to cover the “Scheduled Areas”, which are not covered in the 73rd Constitutional amendment.
- This particular act extends the provisions of Part IX to the Scheduled Areas of the country. PESA brought powers further down to the Gram Sabha level.
- The Gram Sabha in the Panchayat Act were entrusted with wide ranging powers starting from consultation on land acquisition to that of ownership over minor forest produces and leasing of minor minerals.
- PESA became operative at a time when Indian economy was opening up all its frontiers to foreign direct investment.
- The mining sector, which is mostly located in the scheduled areas of the country where PESA operates, were made open to MNCs and the Indian Corporate sector for exploitation of mineral resources at a throwaway price.
- One of the highlighting features of PESA is its suggestion that, every Gram Sabha shall be competent to safeguard and preserve the traditions and customs of the people, their cultural identity, community resources and the customary mode of dispute resolution.
It has further provided that the Gram Sabha or Panchayats at appropriate level shall have the following powers:
- To be consulted on matters of land acquisition and resettlement.
- Grant prospecting license for mining lease for minor minerals and concessions for such activities.
- Planning and management of minor water bodies.
- The power to enforce prohibition or to regulate or restrict the sale and consumption of any intoxicant.
- The ownership of minor forest produces.
- The power to prevent alienation of land and to restore any unlawfully alienated land of a scheduled tribe.
- The power to manage village markets.
- The power to exercise control over money lending to scheduled tribes.
- While giving such wide-ranging powers to Gram Sabhas or Panchayats, PESA has further given an added responsibility to States that they may endow Panchayats with powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government.