ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Monopoly Trade in Tribal Areas and Its Politics in Maharashtra

December 17, 1977 Monopoly Trade in Tribal Areas and Its Politics in Maharashtra S D Kulkarni THE Government of Maharashtra, under the directions of the Government of India, prepared a Tribal Area Sub-Plan with the two long-term objectives of narrowing down the gap between the levels of development of tribal and other areas and of improving the quality of life of the tribal communities.1 Elimination of tribals' exploitation was recorded as one of the immediate objectives. It was mentioned that "all programmes which help in minimising incidence of exploitation such as those in the fields of marketing, credit, supply of consumer goods, and even informal rationing ensuring commodities at reasonable prices should have the highest priority."2 ''Malpractices in trading like under-weighing and unreasonable prices forcing the tribals to inextricably tie up their economy to an unscrupulous trader leading them to indebtedness and impoverishment and in many cases loss of his land and movable property" were cited as some of the exploitative practices,3 The Plan provided for the formation of Adivasi Co-operative Societies as an alternate source of finance and marketing in tribal areas. These societies were to purchase the commodities produced or foregathered by the tribals and to sell to them basic agricultural inputs.

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