Govt lags behind in SC/ST schemes: panel
Despite favouring several options including reservation for welfare of Dalits, the govt itself lags behind in implementing various schemes, says a Parliamentary panel.Updated: May 08, 2008 16:21 IST
Despite favouring several options including reservation for welfare of Dalits, the government itself lags behind in implementing various schemes meant for SC/STs and OBCs.
Out of 51 ministries or government departments, only seven have reported formulation of Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) in their annual plan, a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment has said.
The ministries/departments which reported formulation of such a plan are the Ministry of Small Scale Industries, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Department of Agriculture and Cooperation among others.
The Committee also observed that during the last year, some states with sizable SC population have not allocated funds for their SCSP as per the percentage of their population.
Andhra Pradesh which has a SC population of 16.20 per cent has an allocation of only 7.63 per cent, Himachal Pradesh with SC population of 24.70 per cent has an allocation of 11 per cent and Punjab with a SC population of 28.90 per cent has an outlay of 26.02 per cent.
Keeping in view the fact that the allocations under Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan in proportion to the percentage of SC population in the state is the main criteria for release of grants by the Centre under the scheme, the Committee expressed its displeasure at the non-adherence to the norms by some states.
The Committee also termed as a matter of concern the fact that the Ministry does not have any data highlighting the number of beneficiaries who were successful in crossing below the poverty line after having availed of the benefits of the scheme of SCA to SCSP.
"The Committee regret to observe that this is nothing but a casual approach on the part of the government vis-a-vis its mandate for working towards bringing the target group into the mainstream of development by making them self reliant," it said.
The Committee noted that despite their repeated recommendations impressing upon all states/UTs to open a separate budget head for SCA funds, two states are yet to follow the instructions.
Inspite of clear cut instructions from the Planning Commission directing all Central Ministries and Departments to formulate SCSP for SCs in their Annual Plan only seven ministries out of a total of 51 have complied till now, it said.
The Committee has recommended the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to ensure expeditious compliance by the remaining Central Ministries of the guidelines issued by the Planning Commission in this regard.