State Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar has welcomed the decision of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to develop Valmiki Ashram (Ram Tirath) near Amritsar.
The CM has announced a budget of Rs. 115 crore for the project for the Dalit community. "It will be a befitting tribute to a great saint worshipped globally and his teachings followed by millions of people," Jakhar said here on Monday.
"The CM owes explanation to the Dalits, however, why Rs. 3,047 crore earmarked for the welfare of members of the Scheduled castes in the sub-plan schemes of the year 2012-13 could not be utilised," said the Congress leader. "The CM should explain to which schemes was the money diverted."
The state government had also failed in releasing the post-matriculation scholarships worth crores of rupees that the Centre had sanctioned for the welfare of students from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, said Jakhar, referring to the comptroller and accountant general (CAG) report that this money also had been diverted to other plans.
"The Chamar Maha Sabha president, Paramjit Kainth, had lodged a complaint against the state government in this connection with the National Commission for the SCs and STs," said the CLP leader. "If the CM means what he says, he should release the grants without further delay."