Monday, March 02, 2015

Union budget: Dalits, tribals "denied" 57% per cent of their share

By Our Representative
In one the sharpest critiques of the new Union budget, a top apex body of India’s Dalit organizations, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), has accused the Government of India of denying Dalits 61 percent of the share they should have been allocated under the scheduled caste sub-plan (SCSP), 53 per cent of the share tribals should have been allocated under the scheduled tribe sub-plan (TSP).
Pointing out that the total denial to both SCs and STs is a “shocking” 57 per cent, Paul Divakar, who is NCDHR’s general secretary, has said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to whip the budget into shape and make the economy fairer for Dalits, tribals and other marginalized sections, but unfortunately his words have not translated into action.”
Giving details, the NCDHR has said, in the budget for 2015-16, the Dalits have been allocated Rs 30,850 crore, while the allocation is Rs 19,980 crore for Adivasis. “As per the SCSP/TSP Guidelines, the SCs should be allocated 16.6 per cent of the outlay, which amounts to Rs 77,236 crore towards SCSP, and the STs should be allocated 8.6 per cent of the outlay, which amounts to Rs 40,014 crore towards TSP”, it added.
“Dalits, therefore, have been denied a total of 61 per cent of the due amount under the SCSP, and 53 per cent has been denied to tribals under TSP”, it said, adding, “When compared to 2014-15 allocations , SCSP allocation was Rs 43,208 crore and TSP allocation was Rs 26,714 crore.” It terms this year’s allocation as “anti-SC and anti-ST.”
The NCDHR further says, “From the gender perspective, the Budget spells doom for SC/ST women”, as it earmarks practically “nothing” for them. “Out of the total allocation of Rs 30,850 crore under the SCSP, the allocation for women specific schemes is a meager sum of Rs 73.70 crore – which amounts to 0.23 per cent only!” it adds, “The scenario is much the same when one looks at the Budget allocation under TSP -- a paltry sum of Rs 40 crore ie 0.20 per cent.”
According to NCDHR , the allocations have “also declined in the education sector” to Rs 10,194.7 crore under the SCSP and Rs 5486.44 crore under TSP. Further, “allocation in the critical post-matric scholarship scheme for SC/STs has been reduced from Rs 1,904.78 crore to Rs 1,599 crore.”
Saying that the Modi government has actually “missed the boat to reach out to the Dalits and Adivasis”, the NCDHR concludes, “hough this Budget could have been used to give real relief to struggling families facing assaults, atrocities, discrimination, poor health, lack of education and unemployment, no concrete measure has been taken to improve their condition.”
“It is not only ironic but a cruel stroke that the government, instead of protecting SCs and STs and promoting their development has grossly reduced spending on their welfare”, the NCDHR statement said, wondering, “Where is the money going? The answer is not far to seek – it is going to the corporates with a reduction in corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.”

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