Skip to main content

Modi govt allocates 1% of UPA budget to "rehabilitate" manual scavengers in 2017-18: Govt of India official

BE: Budget Estimates; RE: Revised Estimates
By Rajiv Shah
In a shocking revelation, PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd), who is member of the National Monitoring Committee for Education of SCs, STs and Persons with Disabilities, has said that as against the UPA budget of 2013-14, when Rs 557 crore for provided for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers, the Government of India budget provides “less than 1% of it.”
Former secretary, ministry of welfare, Government of India, Krishnan says, the “neglect of the safai karmacharis” (manual scavengers) could be seen to have begun in 2014-15, when the NDA came to power. Thus, just about Rs 47 crore was spent in 2014-15, or merely 10% of the 2014-15 budget estimate (BE) provision of Rs. 439.04 crore.”
“This neglect”, says Krishnan, “worsened in 2015-16 when the revised estimate (RE) was only Rs 10.01 crore compared to the BE of Rs. 470.19 crore.”
Krishan underlines, “The gross under-utilization in 2015-16 RE was taken as the base for 2016-17 BE and a mere Rs10 crore was provided. Even this has been grossly under-utilized as seen from the 2016-17 RE of Rs 1.00 crore.”
Worse, he says, “In 2017-18 the BE has been further halved with a paltry provision of Rs 5.00 crore.”
According to Krishan, the “reduced outlay for self-employment scheme of liberation and rehabilitation of safai karmacharis … is specifically implemented for one category of scheduled castes (SCs)” who form “about 10% of the total SC population.”
The reduction, he says, has come about despite the fact that “successive governments have accepted the liberation and rehabilitation of safai karmacharis as a priority programme.”
Thus, Krishnan states, “An Act was passed in 1993, namely, the Employment of Manual Scavengers & Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, which was substituted by another and stronger Act, namely, Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.”
However, he regrets, “The outlay for this scheme is at variance with the national policy accepted by successive governments of the past and present and the purpose of the important legislation of 2013 and the sympathy for ‘scavengers’ expressed from time to time by successive ruling parties and their leaders.”
Arguing in his paper “Budget 2917-18 and the Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes (SCP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TsP): The History of Neglect and Casualness over the Last Many Years Across Different Governments Continues”, distributed through a Dalit media network, Krishnan says, overall, too, the total amount of allocation for the welfare of SCs in the present Budget, Rs 52,392.55 crore, works out to be just 2.44% of the total expenditure.
While it is “better” than the previous budget when the “total amount of allocations for SCs in BE 2016-17 was Rs. 38,832.63 crore, which worked out to be 1.96% of the total budget expenditure, it nevertheless shows the “casual attitude towards SCs and … their developmental needs.”
Pointing out that SC population of India is 16.6%, Krishnan wonders, against this backdrop, how could commentators in the media went out of the way “to portray this as a great sop for the SCs as part of vote-bank politics in the context of the current series of elections to the state assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab etc.”
---
Download full paper HERE

Comments

TRENDING

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

One lakh schools closed down, draft policy 'seeks' commercialisation: Whither RTE?

By Our Representative
A national consultation on the new draft National Education Policy (NEP) with senior experts, teachers’ association representatives and other stakeholders at the India International Centre in New Delhi on July 11, organised by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, has expressed serious concern over curtailment in the budgeted expenditure on education year after year, even as closure of more than one lakh schools over the "last few years."

Lynching as state terror? Complete dearth of 'political will' to deal with mob violence

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On Friday July 5, thousands of people had gathered at a rally in Surat to protest against the growing mob lynching incidents in different parts of the country. There are different interpretations at what happened during the rally: with police blaming the rallyists and those in the rally blaming the police for using teargas shells upon them without any reason.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Gender budgeting? Govt of India allocates just 2.1%, 0.73% for SC, ST women

By Rajiv Shah
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), one of the most influential all-India Dalit rights networks, has taken strong exception to the manner in which the Government of India has undermined Gender Responsive Budgeting in the Union Budget 2019-20 for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), pointing towards “wide gaps” between the goals and the situational reality of “the Dalit and Adivasi women on the ground.”

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

UN report notes 'suppression' of Kashmiri independence groups in Pakistan

By Our Representative
A top United Nations (UN) body has suggested that the intense fervour of Kashmiri nationalism isn’t just sweeping the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state but is equally strong in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), pointing towards how the Pak authorities have been seeking to suppress it by placing restrictions on rights to freedoms of expression and opinion, assembly and association on every section of PoK’s population.