‘Law needed for budget allocations to SCs, STs’

ST Correspondent
Monday, 12 March 2018

Advocate Priyadarshi Telang said that although the budget this year shows an increase in allocations, it is evident that there is enough room for diversion of funds instead of benefiting individuals and communities.

PUNE: The Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan has alleged that the State budget for the marginalised community has also sidelined them. They are unhappy that poor allocation, denial and unspent amount and diversions are constant features of sub-plans. 

Speaking during a press interaction on Monday, Dr Sanjay Dabhade from Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan said that in Telangana, a law has been enacted for budgetary allocations of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Tribes in proportion to the population, but in Maharashtra, this is not the case. 

“We see that in Maharashtra that growth is not inclusive. And the budget allocation is also not according to the mandate. We demand that all funds should be utilised. However, we see that a lot of money is unspent,” said Dabhade.

Unreasonable monetary diversions
Dabhade added that there is denial of funds and within that the poor allocation, funds are diverted for various reasons. “Even states like Karnataka have allocated Rs 87,000 crore in last five years for SCs, while in Maharashtra, it is only Rs 36,439 crore. Hence, the enactment of a law for Scheduled Casts and Tribe component schemes is essential for proper allocation and utilisation of resources.”

Speaking during the interaction, Kiran Moghe, Secretary of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), said that the fight is for allocation for education, housing and economic development.

“There is a marginal increase in the budget for scholarships from Rs 213 crore to Rs 250 crore for scheduled tribes, but there is a flip-flop on part of the Maharashtra government from e-scholarship to MahaDBT. There is also an increase in problems due to online forms, which had created difficulties in addition to Aadhaar linkage. Also, students in many colleges have not received scholarships for more than two years,” said Moghe.

She added that with the slashed budget for housing and economic development, the overall development is hampered for these communities. 

Advocate Priyadarshi Telang said that although the budget this year shows an increase in allocations, it is evident that there is enough room for diversion of funds instead of benefiting individuals and communities.

NOTABLE STATISTICS
- In 2017-2018, the expenditure was only 40 per cent for Dalits and 54 per cent for tribals. 
- In 2018-2019, the allocation for tribal component plan has been increased marginally but the Scheduled Caste component has been cut by Rs 1,260 crore.   
- Members of the Dalit Adivsai Adhikar Andolan and others present showed solidarity with farmers who have marched to Mumbai on Monday under the All India Kisan Sabha banner.

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