Skip to main content

Gujarat budget ‘disappoints’ with highest 30% reduction in allocation for minorities

By Mujahid Nafees* 

On March 3, Gujarat Finance Minister Nitinbhai Patel presented the budget for the financial year 2021-22 in the Vidhan Sabha. The budget for the outgoing year was Rs 2,17,287 crore, while for FY 2021-22, Rs 2,27,029 crore has been proposed. Compared to the last year’s proposal, in FY 2021-22, there is an increase of Rs 9,742 crore.
However, if one looks at the budget closely, one would see the departments which are very closely connected with larger sections of society, have been neglected by the state government. It suggests that this government does not believe in the “Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas”, a Narendra Modi slogan.
The budget for agriculture and farmers’ welfare was Rs 7,423 crore in FY 2020-21; but for FY 2021-22, it has been reduced to Rs 7,232 core – a reduction of Rs 191 crore.
The budget for the Department of Health and Family Welfare was Rs 11,243 crore, but for FY 2021-22, the Finance Minister has allocated year Rs 11,323 crore – an increase of only Rs 80 crore. This as a time when the country is struggling with a pandemic. It may be noted that adequate resources were not made available to hospitals ever since the outbreak of Covid-19. It was hoped that the government would arrange more budget to strengthen the system of hospitals, but the government gave only lollipop to the common people.
In the budget for the Education Department, the expenditure per child in the Mid-Day Meal Scheme was Rs 4,387.75 in FY 2020-21. In FY 2021-22, the expenditure per child has been kept at Rs 4,310.34 – a reduction of Rs 77.41 per child. This is likely to affect 45 lakh children studying in government schools.
In FY 2020-21, Rs 101.35 crore was proposed for the welfare of the minorities, who fall under the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment; in FY 2021-22, Rs 71.61 crore has been allocated, a reduction of Rs 30.74 crore. This is the biggest reduction in the entire budget. Looking at this, it is clear that the government is creating a bottleneck in their development by discriminating against the minorities.
It seems, the government does not want the minority communities to move forward on the path of development. The Minority Coordination Committee (MCC) believes 10% of the budget should have been allocated under special allocation to bring the backward community forward.
In the scholarship scheme of the same department, Rs 575 crore was allocated in FY 2020-21, while Rs 549 crore has been proposed for FY 2021-22 -- a reduction of Rs 26 crore. This will have a direct impact on the minority community and Scheduled Caste children.
For another scheme of the Social Justice and Empowerment Department, Saraswati Sadhna Yojana, under which the minority community and scheduled caste girls studying in class 9 are offered bicycles, in FY 2020-21 Rs 80 crore allocation was made for 1,82,500 girls. In the new budget, Rs 71 crore has been allocated for 1,82,000 girls.
The FY 2020-21’s budget allocated Rs 147 crore for Yatradham development, while in FY 2021-22, it has been increased to Rs 154 crore. Ironically, the entire budget of this department is spent for one religion only, which clearly shows the discriminatory character of the government. The Finance Minister's speech mentions the development of temples along with their names.
In FY 2020-21, the Food and Civil Supplies Department was allocated Rs 1,271 crore. In FY 2021-22 it is Rs 1,224 crore, a reduction of Rs 47 crore. In current a difficult times, instead of increasing the allocation that would help food security, the loss of Rs 47 crore will directly affect the disadvantaged communities.
The budget for the Sports, Youth and Cultural Department was Rs 560 crore in FY 2020-21. In FY 2021-22 it is Rs 507 crore, a reduction of Rs 53 crore. This deficiency will affect the youth activities in the village. How will Gujarat play now?
---
*Convener, Minority Coordination Committee, Gujarat

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

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.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.