Pravir Krishna, an IAS officer of the 1987 batch (Madhya Pradesh cadre) belongs to the select category of bureaucrats to have made it to the list of '50 Most Influential Indians 2020', prepared by Fame India, Asia Post and PSU Watch. Before his retirement, Pravir was working as Managing Director of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED). Both, his inclusion in the list and MD-ship of TRIFED are interconnected. Krishna worked in the tribal areas of Chhattisgarh (then part of undivided Madhya Pradesh) and MP for the bigger part of his career.
Before taking over as MD-TRIFED, Pravir Krishna was Joint Secretary, Ministry of Shipping. He has also served as a part-time official director at the Shipping Corporation of India Limited and Dredging Corporation of India Limited. Earlier, he served as Government Nominee Director of Kamarajar Port Limited.
His recent book, Tryst with the Tribes - Tales from Tribal Heartlands is well received. The book encapsulates 35 years of a transformational journey, filled with unique experiences that connected the author with the tribal heartlands of the country. He has also written another book, ‘Price Behaviour in Planned Economy’ as a postgraduate student of Economics.
His particular focus has been on tribal development, especially the forest-based tribes in India, to bolster their livelihood in a manner that helps them retain their habitat, but enables them to grow through trade and industry at the local level.
He has worked concertedly to spotlight the issue of exploitative trade practices in forest-tribal areas and highlighted this as a major cause of tribal unrest and the growth of left-wing terrorism.
He proposed and helped curate legislative/administrative changes to ensure minimum support price (MSP) for select NTFPs. Demonstrating how NTFP can be used as a driver of holistic tribal development, including livelihood, education, healthcare, environment, gender equity, empowerment etc was his sterling accomplishment. He advocated a shift in State policy for tribal development, from emphasis on mere welfare schemes (doles) to promotion of trade and enterprise.
He took the initiative to actualize on the field the legislative provisions relating to conferring ownership rights on the tribes on the local non-timber forest produces; and ushering in micro market reforms through enforcing fair-trade practices, encouraging local-level value-addition activities, and providing market solutions to the tribes for their products.