Allocations made in budget 2015-216 way short of Plan Outlays for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Budget allocations for dalits and tribals have not come along well with the civil society activists who believe the funds are inadequate for the upliftment of marginalised classes.
If compared to last financial year, the money allocated under the Scheduled Caste sub-plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-plan (TSP) has drastically come down in Union Budget 2015-2016. This year, dalits have been allocated only Rs 30,850 crore and the allocation for adivasis stands at Rs 19,980 crore. In 2014-15, while the SCSP was allocated Rs 43,208 crore, TSP had Rs 26,714 crore.
The guidelines under these two programmes clearly state that the Scheduled Castes (SCs) should be allocated 16.6 per cent of the Plan Outlay, which amounts to Rs 77,236 crore towards SCSP. Similarly, Scheduled Tribes (STs) are entitled to get 8.6 per cent of the plan outlay, which amounts to Rs 40,014 crore towards TSP. This means that the allocation for dalits is short by a good 61 per cent and that for tribals is short by 53 per cent.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to whip the budget into shape and make the economy fairer for dalits, adivasis and other marginalised sections. Unfortunately, these words have not translated into action,” says Paul Divakar, general secretary at National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR).
The special budgetary components were initiated in 1979. “The allocation for women-specific schemes under SCSP is a meager Rs 73.70 crore (0.23 per cent of total budget) and the same under TSP is Rs 40 crore (0.20 per cent of the total budget),” says Diwakar.
Not only this, the allocation for education has declined to Rs 10,194.70 crore under SCSP and Rs 5,486.44 crore under TSP. The funds in the critical Post Metric Scholarship Scheme for SC/STs have been reduced from Rs 1,904.78 crore to Rs 1,599 crore. “Retrogressive allocations are also seen in schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-Day Meal Scheme and in other higher education programmes for SCs and STs,” he adds.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.