Tribal Forest Dwellers Empowerment Scheme of National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) for economic upliftment of Schedule Tribe forest dwellershere was launched on 8 May 2013 by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs & Panchayati Raj. This is a significant scheme for economic development of Scheduled tribes. The Forest Rights act recognized and regularized the preexisting rights of ST forest dwellers and under this scheme, financial assistance will be provided them at concessional rate for their empowerment.
The Government enacted a Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Under this act, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional forest Dwellers have been given the right to hold the forest land for habitation or for self-cultivation or for carrying out any other traditional activity for their livelihood. Most of the Scheduled Tribes are poor and need financial support for productive utilization of land for their livelihood.
In order to provide concessional finance to the Forest Dwelling STs, the NSTFDC has formulated the new Tribal Forest Dwellers Empowerment Scheme. NSTFDC would generate awareness, provide training and assist in market linkage apart from providing financial assistance at concessional rate of interest of 6% p.a. to the beneficiaries. This assistance would be made available through 33 State Channelizing Agencies of NSTFDC and certain PSU Banks/ Regional Rural Banks having refinance agreements with NSTFDC.