Skip to main content

Refusing to make it mandatory, Gujarat government "fails to spend" Rs 10,000 crore meant for Dalits

By Our Representative
Two senior Ahmedabad-based Dalit rights activists – Kirit Rathod of Navsarjan Trust and Vasudev Charupa of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) – have alleged that the Gujarat government has “failed” to spend a whopping Rs 10,008.89 crore since 2001-02 for the welfare of the state’s scheduled caste (SC) population. In a statement, the two said, “We have calculated this on the basis of (1) refusal to budget funds for the Dalits in proportion to the SC population, as required by Planning Commission, and (2) failure to spend even the allocated funds under the SC sub-plan of the budget.”
Claiming to have got the details on the basis of an application filed under the right to information (RTI) Act, the activists said that between 2001-02 and 2013-14, a total of Rs 11,115.6 crore was spent under the SC sub-plan as against the budgeted allocation for SCs of Rs 14,805.3 crore, which means that Rs 3,689.69 crore “remained idle.” Giving year-wise details, they added, the worst spending was in the last financial year (2013-14), when Rs 1,389.05 crore remained unspent as against the allocation of Rs 2,637.41 crore.
Suggesting this was just 47.08 per cent of the total allocation made under the SC sub-plan, the activists said, in rest of the years, anywhere between 0.22 per cent (2005-06) to 32.75 per cent (2001-02) amount meant for SCs remained unspent. In 2012-13, as against the allocation of Rs 2,849.32 crore, the actual spending was Rs 2,440.93 crore, or 85.67 per cent. In 2011-12, the spending was 75.68 per cent (Rs 1,577.14 crore against 2,084.04 crore), and in 2010-11 it was 88.21 per cent (Rs 1174.75 crore against 1331.08 crore).
The activists contended that the “poor spending” took place despite the fact that the allocation was not budgeted in proportion to the SC population of Gujarat, as required by Planning Commission. Charupa told Counterview, “The Planning Commission in 2006, in an advisory, had said that all governments should budget funds equal to the proportion of the SC population under an exclusive budgetary head called code 789 (and code 796 for scheduled tribes), so that all government departments mandatorily spend them for SCs (and STs).”
“While 10-odd states have implemented the advisory, at least two – Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka – have promulgated a law which mandates their governments to allocate funds equal to the proportion of the SC and ST population”, Charupa, who analysed state budgets, said, adding, “As for Gujarat, not only its allocation is less than the proportion of the SC, there is no effort to rectify the situation. In fact, in the RTI reply, Gujarat’s social justice and empowerment department told us it is not aware of the code’s existence.”
The result is that, according to the activists, as against the SC population of seven per cent, the real allocation has been quite less. Thus, in 2013-14, the allocation for SCs was Rs 4.84 per cent of the total budget, in 2012-13 it was 5.77 per cent, in 2011-12 it was 5.10 per cent, in 2009-10 it was 5.47 per cent, in 2008-09 it was 4.48 per cent, and in 2007-08 it was 3.53 per cent. “As a result, according to our calculation, between 2007-08 and 2013-14, Rs 6,319 crore less amount was allocated against what should have been budgeted”, Charupa said.
Rathod told Counterview, failure to put under the 798 code of the finance department does not make it mandatory to spend the amount meant for SCs. The result, he said, is that funds for Ambedkar Bhawan in each taluka just lapse. In 2012-13, Rs 3 crore was decided upon for the Ambedkar Bhawan project, but the finance department refused to allocate funds. In 2013-14, Rs 6 crore was decided upon, but the finance department did not allocate funds. In 20014-15, a similar application is pending with the government.

Comments

TRENDING

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

Why's Govt of India reluctant to consider battery storage system for renewal energy?

By Shankar Sharma*  If having so many small size battery energy storage system (BESS) at different locations of the grid, as in the report from Australia (a portfolio of 27 small battery storage projects across three Australian states that will total arounds 270 MWh), is considered to be techno-economically attractive in a commercially driven market such as Australia, the question that becomes a lot more relevance to Indian scenario is: why are our planners not in favour of installing such small size BESS at most of the distribution sub-stations not only to accelerate the addition of RE power capacities, but also to minimise the need for large size solar/ wind power parks, dedicated transmission lines and pumped storage plants; which will also minimise the associated technical losses.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

New MVA-INDIA MPs asked to raise Maharashtra milk farmers' demand

By Our Representative  All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Dr Ashok Dhawale and AIKS Maharashtra general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale have asked three newly-elected MPs of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-INDIA) from the milk belt of Maharashtra Dr Amol Kolhe (NCP),  Bhausaheb Wakchaure (SS), and Nilesh Lanke (NCP), to take up the cause of milk farmers of Maharashtra in Parliament.  After congratulating them on their resounding victory over their BJP-NDA rivals, the AIKS leaders apprised them of the milk farmers struggle which is intensifying in the state under the leadership of the AIKS and the Milk Farmers Joint Struggle Committee, and requested them to support it. All three MPs agreed not only to support, but also to take the initiative in this struggle, an official AIKS communique claimed. Farmers in Maharashtra are currently getting as low as Rs 24-27 per litre for cow milk, which is being sold in the market for Rs 56-60 per litre, the AIKS leaders noted. The low price to farmer

Report suggests Indian democracy 'hasn't achieved' equitable economic decentralization

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram  The news that the current economic inequality in the country is worse than during British rule is unsettling. This suggests the harsh reality that our democracy has not achieved equitable economic decentralization. A recent report by Thomas Piketty and three other economists reveals shocking findings: in 2023-24, the top 1% of the wealthiest people in India hold 40% of the nation's wealth, with a 22.6% share in income.