There is a Scam of Rs. 41,737 Crores for Scheduled Castes and Rs. 17,051 Crores for Scheduled Tribes in 2013-2014 Budget
~ Dr. Udit Raj, National Chairman, All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations
Dr. Udit Raj, National Chairman, All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations said that in the Budget for 2013-2014 presented by the Finance Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram today (the 28th February, 2013) the allocation earmarked for SC/ST people is half of the intended allocation and this high-handedness has been going on for several years. According to the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCP), the allocation for the Scheduled Caste people should have been in proportion to their population.
According to the 2001 Census, population of the Scheduled Caste people is 16.2% of the total population but for the purpose of allocation of funds for reservation and other Government benefits, the yardstick continues to be 15%. In this budget, the total amount of the Plan budget is Rs. 5,55,322 crore and even if it is calculated on the basis of 15%, the allocation for Scheduled Castes should have been Rs. 83,298.3 crore whereas provision in the budget for this purpose has been made for just Rs. 41,561 crore. This works out to just half of the figure of Rs. 83,298.3 crore. Thus there is a big scam of Rs. 41,737 crore.
Dr. Udit Raj further said that the allocation for Scheduled Tribes in the budget is made taking their population to be 7.5% when actually their population has increased to 8.4%. In the Plan Budget, a sum of Rs. 24,598 crore has been earmarked for Scheduled Tribes and here also there is a scam of Rs. 17,051 crore. In proportion to their population, for the Scheduled Tribes, there should have been an allocation of Rs. 41,649.15 crore.
According to the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), the budget allocation should have been in proportion to their population whereas it has never been done so and the same policy holds good for Scheduled Castes. If we take into account this type of scam which has been going on for several years, then the amount will run into several lakh crores.The exact allocations for different Ministries under different heads can be known after a detailed study of the budget and only then some comments can be made. It is quite likely that schemes which could bring about far-reaching changes in the lives of SC/ST people might not have been made.
If allocations are viewed after taking into account the total amount of the budget including non-plan amount, the situation is very desperate. The total budget amount for 2013-214 is Rs. 16,65,297 crore. In the year 2013, the Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh made a law that allocations in the budget for the development SC/ST people should be in proportion to their population. Dr. UIdit Raj said that it is difficult to say when this scam will end. Thus, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people are extremely dissatisfied with this budget.
~ C.L. Maurya