Friday, February 22, 2013

Gujarat budgets ignore Dalits' plight; there is no change in the new 2013-14 budget either: NCDHR

Vasudev Charupa
By Our Representative
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) has demanded effective implementation of Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) under the 2013-14 budget allocation in Gujarat State. In a statement, Vasudev Charupa, state coordinator for NCDHR has said that a review of the last eight years’ total state budget allocation under SCSP shows that up to the year 2012-13 minimum allocation figure under SCSP Rs 3926.39 crore has not been met by the Gujarat government. “It is consistently granting so less amount for community development from the allocated huge budget”, he said, adding, things do not seem to have changed in the latest budget for 2013-14, presented in the Gujarat state assembly a few days back.
Saying that Gujarat’s SC population is a little above 7 per cent of the total, while in the urban areas it is much higher, with Ahmedabad recording the highest 17.3 per cent of its population as SC, followed by Banaskantha 10.4 per cent and Rajkot 6.8 per cent, the statement says, sex ratio of the SC male-female population is 925, which is low from the national average (936). The SC population of Gujarat has recorded 70.7 per cent literacy rate, which is higher than the national average for SCs (54.7%, but while the male literacy figure is 82.6 per cent female literacy figure is 57.6 per cent, “indicating that women are lagging behind male.”
Pointing out that it is the policy of the Indian government to grant special component plan (presently Schedule Caste Sub-Plan) with the aim of SC development, the statement says, under the scheme of SCSP, out of total planned budget as per the state SC population (7.09 per cent in Gujarat) corresponding allocation has to be fixed for its development. “National Planning Commission has emphatically said that on account of long-term deprivation of SCs there is a greater need of financial allocation for their development than their population percentage. It has been stated that the allocated budget under SCSP shall not be spent anywhere else”, it reads.
The statement highlights following facts:
· For the year 2010-11, the budget provision for nutrition under SCSP was only Rs 15 crore, which indicates 1.92 per cent, against the total provision of Rs 17.42 crore, which accounted for 1.09 per cent for the year 2011-12 and provision of Rs 79 crore which is 0.89 per cent during the year 2012-13. Given the fact that Gujarat has a high infant mortality rate, this allocation is highly insufficient.
· In agricultural sector during 2010-11 the amount of R. 41.27 was allocated which denotes only 4.29 per cent, while in 2011-12 it declined to 4.10 per cent with the total provision of 47.10 crore.
· In the Irrigation sector, the allocation went up by 10 per cent in the last three years but benefits did not reach directly to SC farmers. “There is a need of planning so that the benefits can directly reach this community; land holders who do not have irrigation facilities, where exists the scarcity of water, saline land particularly in the districts Sabarkantha, Patan, Surendranagar and Kutchh. There should be provision of more budget allocation for these SC farmers provided with alternative irrigation facilities”, the statement says.
· The urban development in 2010-11 provided financial assistance of Rs 138 crore (4.93 per cent) and in 2011-12 this was of Rs 209 crore (7.10 per cent). In 2012-13 it declined to 6.61 per cent with the amount being Rs 320 crore. “In Gujarat urban areas SC population is much higher than the state average, and there are number of problems of basic facilities, e.g. drinking water, accommodation, toilets as per the population. With respect to these there is a necessity of planning and allocation of budget only in the SC areas and need of immediate effective implementation”, the statement says.
· In the State number of SC people with land holding are 1.54 lakh which count for 3.63 per cent. Even then, the statement says, the land revenue department during the year 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 did not allocate anything. “It is extremely worrying that land is the source of livelihood and yet there is no allocation in this sector. In fact, to make society economically capable there has to be special attention on this count”, the statement reads.
· In general education Rs 100 crore was provided in 2011-12 and Rs 96 crore in 2010-11, which comes to 9.21 per cent and 9.81 percent, respectively, and in technical education it was 5.9 per cent and 7.98 per cent respectively. ”There is remarkable declined in the year 2011-12. During the budget 2012-13 general education allocation is Rs 174.67 crore which is 7.36 per cent and 6.7 crore in technical education which is 3.59 per cent. There is an immediate need for the modification or change in the income criteria for scholarship as per the increasing inflation so that maximum students are covered in the scheme”, the statement suggests.
The statement also demands that in Gujarat, there is a special need of attention towards qualitative education of SC and ST population. Even today in schools in villages due to untouchability children are made to sit separately for Mid-Day-Meal (MDM). There are separate water facilities for upper and lower caste children. Children do not play or participate in activities together. “Such practices result in dropout, leading them to become child labourers . Therefore, it is the governments’ priority to protect his/her childhood and to prepare him/her competent enough for the society. With this regard Government should pay special attention and bring in changes in the education system and increase the budget allocation”, the statement reads.
The statement alleges that things have, instead of improving, deteriorated in the new budget for 2013-14. It gives some specific examples to prove the point. The allocation in general education in 2012-13 was 7.36 per cent of the total plan outlay, and now in 2013-14 it is Rs 176.79 core, or 5.33 per cent. In technical education, in 2012-13 it was 3.59 per cent while in 2013-14 it is 4.03 per cent. Like in the past, this year, too, there is no allocation in SCSP under the land revenue head. Under the nutrition head, only 1% has been allocated under the SCSP.

2013-14 budget: SCSP allocation in %
Admn of justice: 0.46%
Land revenue: 0%
Public works: 0.47%
General Education: 5.33%
Tech Education:                4.0%
Sports and youth: 3.86%
Urban development: 6.88%
Labour, employment: 4.09%
Nutrition: 1.00%
Crop husbandry: 3.46%
Soil conservation: 3.86%
Animal husbandry: 2.71%
Fisheries: 2.68%
Food storage and warehouse: 3.52%
Agricultural research and education: 0%
Special programme for rural development: 5.70%
Major irrigation: 3.89%
Medium Irrigation: 0.17%
Minor irrigation: 4.08%
Power: 0.24%
Renewable energy: 1.33%
Village and small industries: 6.09%
Industries: 0.03%
                                                               
                                

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