Monday, March 1, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Vulnerable sections ignored in budget allocation: NCDHR

Published: March 1, 2010
Updated: March 1, 2010 01:03 IST NEW DELHI, March 1, 2010

Vulnerable sections ignored in budget allocation: NCDHR
Aarti Dhar

The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) has said that the
budget proposals for 2010-11 have ignored the most vulnerable sections
of society, particularly the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled
Tribes (STs).

Though there is an increase in the budgets for the Ministries of
Tribal Affairs and Social Justice and Empowerment, the overall denial
continues to be substantial this year — over Rs.25, 000 crore, said
N.Paul Divakar, NCDHR general-secretary.

Seeking intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the Planning Commission in doling out a
better deal for these underprivileged sections, Mr. Divakar said
strict instructions should be issued to ensure that allocations made
are implemented as per the Special Component Plan (SCP) and the Tribal
Sub-Plan (TSP) guidelines issued by the Commission.

The Total Annual Plan Expenditure for 2010-11 (BE) (excluding Central
Assistance to States/Union Territories) is Rs.2,84,284 crore.
According to SCP, the Dalits were supposed to get Rs.46,054 crore and
as per the TSP, the Adivasis Rs.23,311.29 crore. However the
allocation under SCP is Rs.20,624 crore and TSP Rs.11,745.94. It
denies Rs.25,429.7 crore to the Dalits and Rs.14,137.12 crore to
indigenous groups, he pointed out.

Of the 83 Departments/Ministries that have Plan allocation, only 18
have allocated SCP and TSP from their Annual Plan Expenditure. Of
these 18, eight have earmarked below 5 per cent. If one analyses the
allocations to the high growth departments, there is hardly any scheme
which benefit the SCs or STs, the NCDHR said.

According to Mr. Divakar, consultations with Dalit and Adivasi
organisations and leaders should be carried out during the budget
planning, and this should be made mandatory. The SCP and TSP should be
made into legislation, which defines clear entitlements for the Dalits
and has necessary redressal mechanisms to ensure that all duty bearers
implement these special allocations effectively.

"The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of
Tribal Affairs has to play an effective role in coordination and
implementation of the SCP and TSP. In particular, these Ministries
should ensure separate earmarking and scheme-wise allocation in their
respective Annual Plans and performance analysis and granting of
utilisation certificates for further allocations."

The Planning Commission, as a monitoring and review authority, should
evolve a separate set of duties and functions to ensure transparency
and accountability by executives responsible for the planning,
formulation, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of SCP and TSP.
Each Ministry should have sufficient human and financial resources for
effectively implementing the same to ensure inclusion in the growth
sectors and new developments taking place, he said.

Suggesting that all State governments should constitute SCP and TSP
monitoring committees wherein educated youth from these sections of
the society are members, Mr Divakar said these could monitor planning
and implementation at the State, Department/Ministry, district and
block levels with necessary powers to intervene wherever necessary.


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