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Dalits, activists unhappy with schemes for SC/STs in Rajasthan budget 

In the budget for 2018-19, the state government announced interest-free loan of ₹ 2 lakh to those engaged in occupations like plumber, cobbler, rickshaw pullers and others.

jaipur Updated: Feb 12, 2018 22:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news,Dalits,Rajasthan budget
BJP legislators replying to leader of opposition Rameshwar Dudi and other Congress members who created a ruckus while chief minister Vasundhara Raje was presenting the budget in Jaipur on Monday.(HT Photo.)

In the budget for 2018-19, the state government announced interest-free loan of ₹ 2 lakh to those engaged in occupations like plumber, cobbler, rickshaw pullers and others.

She also announced waiver of loans of up to ₹2 lakh along with the interest on it for SC/ST, sanitation workers and differently-abled. The benefit will cost the state exchequer ₹114 crore.

The other announcements under the rubric ‘Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Economically Backward Classes Welfare’ were 1000 new Ma-Bari Kendra with gas connection to benefit 30,000 children, solar lamps to 1.7 lakh farmers of tribal sub-plan area and the Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Antyoday Swarojgar Yojna, under which loans up to ₹50,000 shall be given to 50,000 families at 4% interest without collateral.

PL Mimroth, director of Centre for Dalit Rights said that there was nothing concrete for the SCs and STs in the budget. “Moreover, more than 40% of the amount announced in last year’s budget remained unspent,” said Mimroth.

The government also announced an increase in the honorarium of anganwadi workers, ASHA Sahyoginis and other workers. The honorarium of Anganwadi workers has been increased from ₹ 4,730 to Rs 6,000 while that of ASHA Sahyoginis has been raised from ₹ 1,850 to ₹ 2,500. The move is likely to benefit 1.84 lakhs workers.

For providing social security, Raje announced the constitution of the ‘Dviyang Kosh’ for the specially-abled with ₹1 crore to welfare institutions, a subsidy of ₹ 1 lakh to adult orphans leaving government orphanages and joining the mainstream.

The budget proposed a maximum of two years child care leave for women employees. However, the government’s move to give two years childcare leave was not received well by the activists. Kavita Srivastava, secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, said that the state government is only covering the formal sector.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 22:19 IST