Skip to main content

Union budget’s numbers game in the 'increased' allocation for Dalits, Adivasis

By Umesh Babu, Ena Zafar, Raju Sarkar, Vibhor Tak* 

The Union Government has allocated an additional budget for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) under the Special Component Plan (SCP) and for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) under the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP). These figures are shown under Statement 10A and Statement 10B respectively.
The allocation of Rs 1,26,259 crore in the year 2021-22 for the SC has increased to Rs 1,39,956 crore from the revised budget and again increased to Rs 1,42,342 crore in the year 2022-23 i.e. 3.61% of the entire budget of the government.
Similarly, the budget allocated for STs has increased to Rs 87,473 crore in the revised budget from Rs 79,942 crore in the year 2021-22 and again increased to Rs 89,265 crore in the year 2022-23; which is 2.26% of the entire budget of the government (click here for details of allocation and expenditure in other years).
Broadly speaking, we can call it an increased budget. However, there are some realities behind this budget, for example: In which heads the money is allocated? Is the budget reaching the people? If not, then where is this money going?
The Agriculture Ministry has allocated Rs 20,472 crore for the SCs in the year 2022-23, out of which Rs 2,667 crore has been earmarked for the Fasal Bima Yojana. Similarly, Rs 1,381 crore is allocated for ST in this scheme.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has reported that the Government of India (GoI) does not have the data of the SC/ST beneficiaries about the money allocated under this scheme in the previous years. Hence it cannot be confirmed how many SC/STs have benefited. The only confirmation is that the budget for the welfare of SC/ST is given to the agriculture insurance companies (AICs) every year, which is Rs 4,048 crore in the year 2022-23.
“3.3.9 Between 2011-12 and 2015-16, Department of Agriculture, Co-operation and Farmers' Welfare allocated and released Rs 2,381.33 crore specifically for coverage of SC and ST farmers under these schemes. However, AIC did not maintain separate data on financial support to these categories. Similarly, AIC did not maintain data on women farmers under the schemes even though the NCIP guidelines of 2013-14 required special efforts to ensure maximum coverage of SC/ST and women category of farmers, and DAC&FW had asked AIC (December 2011) to maintain such information.” (CAG Report No. 7 of 2017, Page 22)
The Higher Education Department has allocated Rs 3,889 crore for the SC year 2022-23, out of which Rs 495 crore is allocated for the assistance to the Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs). Similarly, Rs 240 crore is allocated from ST budget in this scheme. Regarding the money allocated under this scheme in the previous years, the report of the Comptroller General of India says that most of the seats for PG courses in these IITs remain vacant and in PhD 75% SC and 95% ST seats remain vacant in the course.
This means that in the coming financial year 2022-23, these institutions will use Rs 735 crore from SC/ST budget share, but they will not allow these students to take admission in higher education easily.
“(i) The percentage of shortfall in enrolment of SC students in post-graduate courses was significantly higher in IITGN (30 per cent), IITH (25 per cent) and IIT Mandi (23 per cent). The shortfall in ST students was high in all the eight IITs ranging between 7 per cent (IIT Ropar) and 69 per cent (IITGN).
“(ii) The percentage of shortfall in enrolment of PhD courses was very high in respect of ST category ranging from 73 per cent (IITH) to 100 per cent (IITJ). In respect of SC students also, the shortfall was significantly higher (more than 50 per cent) in all IITs except IITH and IITBBS where it was 25 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. Under the OBC category, the shortfall was high in IITGN (37 per cent), IIT Ropar (36 per cent) and IIT Mandi (32 per cent).”
(CAG Report No. 20 of 2021, Page 42)

Anomalies in budget allocation for SC/ST

In the audit of budget for the year 2016-17, it was found that there are many departments, which do not have any plan for SC/ST, but they use their budget in large amounts. The neglect is to such an extent that CAG had asked for rectification of such budget formulations/making at least four times but the Ministry has not taken any cognizance of the same.
It is not possible to talk about all the ministries, but the Ministry of Tribal Welfare which is the nodal ministry for the welfare of the tribals and the manner in which it neglects the accounting procedures while preparing the budget itself makes many things clear by itself.
“Audit noticed that out of the total provision of Rs. 1,250 crore, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs released Rs 1,195.03 crore as ‘Special Central Assistance for Tribal Sub Plan’ in the year 2016-17 and booked this under the minor head ‘796-Tribal Area Sub Plan’ in Grant No 89 pertaining to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The same was required to be provisioned and booked under the minor head ‘794-Special Central Assistance for Tribal Sub Plan’ as prescribed in the extant instructions.
“The matter had also been pointed out in the CAG’s Report No 1 on Union Government Accounts for the financial year 2012-13, 2013-14, Report No. 50 for 2014-15 and Report No.34 for 2015-16.
“In response to Report No.34 for 2015-16, the Ministry had assured (July 2016) that the minor head ‘794’ would be opened in the DDG for the year 2017-18 for Special Central Assistance for Tribal-Sub-Plan.
“Scrutiny of DDG for the year 2017-18, however, revealed that an amount of Rs. 1,350.00 crore had been obtained as provision for ‘Special Central Assistance for Tribal Sub-Schemes’ under Major Heads- 2225, 2552 and 3601 in minor head ‘796’ instead of ‘794’.
“The Ministry stated (August 2017) that the matter has been taken with the Ministry of Finance for opening of a new Minor head 794 so that expenditure under the Scheme Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Scheme could be booked under the distinct minor head of 794, as contained in general directions to the List of Major and Minor Head of Account.”
(Report of the CAG on Union Government Accounts 2016-17, Page 132)

Welfare of Safai Karamcharis?

The responsibility of Safai Karmacharis’ welfare rests with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the nodal ministry for the welfare of SC. This Ministry has not uploaded its Detailed Demand for Grants (DDG) on its website from the year 2019-20 onwards. Therefore, people do not know the details of the budget presented by them in the House. Their DDG based data is available only till the year 2019-20 (click here for details).
Safai Karmacharis have suffered the most in the corona pandemic and have faced the most serious crisis regarding livelihood
According to these available figures, in the year 2016-17, Rs 9 crore was allocated for rehabilitation under self-employment, in which nothing was spent and the entire money lapsed. In the year 2017-18, Rs 4.5 crore was allocated and Rs 5 crore was spent. On the Ministry's website, DDGs are not available to track the expenditure figures for subsequent years.  
The figures which the Union government presents before the House in its Statement 10A, mentions two schemes related to Safai Karamcharis. Looking at one of the schemes “Scheme for Self-Employment and Rehabilitation” as this class has suffered the most in the corona pandemic and had the most serious crisis regarding livelihood. 
In the year 2020-21, Rs 110 crore was allocated for their rehabilitation under the self-employment scheme, out of which only Rs 16.60 crore was spent. In the year 2021-22, Rs 100 crore was allocated, which was reduced to Rs 43.31 crore in the revised budget (click here for details). There is a total provision of Rs 70 crore in the year 2022-23.
When the questions were asked in Parliament about the deaths of sanitation workers in the sewer, then from the answers several other questions arose which are necessary to be answered. Two annexures are given in answer to Lok Sabha Question No 261 dated February 04, 2020. Annexure-I contains the details of the states in which Safai Karamcharis have been identified and given one- time cash assistance at the rate of Rs 40,000 per person for rehabilitation till January 13, 2020. 
Annexure-II contains the details of the States which have given compensation to the families of the deceased sanitation workers after the orders of the Supreme Court. The states of Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha are named in Annexure-I, but not in Annexure-II: This means that no sanitation workers have died in these states.
In reply to Question No 256 dated November 19, 2019, Annexure-II details the compensation to be given to the families of deceased Safai Karamcharis in 36 States/Union Territories. If we consider the state of Delhi for example, then according to this description, till June 30, 2019, a total of 49 sanitation workers have died in sewer accidents in Delhi.
However, in response to question number 261 dated February 4, 2020, in Annexure-II, till 15 January 2020, a total of 89 sanitation workers have died in sewer accidents. This means that between June 30, 2019 and January 15, 2020 (approximately in seven months) within Delhi, 40 (89 - 49 = 40) sanitation workers died in sewer accidents.
It is not known if it is the truth but if it is, then the situation is very critical as for their rehabilitation, budget cuts are also happening within the self-employment scheme. The situation is more or less similar in other States as well.
Provisions made for them in the country's budget, and the reply to the questions placed in the house, are proof of naked truths of justice denial. Through the budget, the whole country is being told that the government follows the constitution and is friendly to the Dalits and Adivasis. But in reality all this is a game of numbers.
---
*With Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch

Comments

RESHAM LAL KLER said…
Great. Very precisely the comparative figure of various activities have been carried out/ shown.
It seems to me a BUISNESS MODEL, a political document made for selective identities.
To demagogue us ,in fact the usurper/supplant know our weaknesses one of them no 1 is Education,formal and our ancestors History.
This small step will help fruition under the guidance and patornship.
Highly commendable, Rev,Sir.

TRENDING

Tracing roots of Hindutva Zionism: cannon fodder for 'warped' nationalist pretensions

By Shamsul Islam*  Those who believe in a world free of hegemonic ethno-nationalism, racism, religious bigotry and hatred have rightly taken note of Zionism and its ally Christian Zionism, major perpetrators of ethnic cleansing of ‘Others’. However, the civilized world with its core belief in multi-culturalism and peaceful co-existence is oblivious to a no less dangerous threat to the present human civilization: the Hindutva Zionism. As the term reads it is part of the Hindutva world-view which stands for an exclusive Hindu India minus Muslims and Christians. The other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism will have no independent status but treated as part of Hinduism. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS; National Volunteer Organization) is the most prominent flag-bearer of the Hindutva politics whose cadres presently rule India, the largest democracy in the world. RSS was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940) in 1925 who was disillusioned with the Indian freedom st

Regional parties, anti-Congress progressives, civil society groups 'joining' Bharat Jodo

By Harshavardhan Purandare, Sandeep Pandey*  The Congress party declared Bharat Chhodo (Quit India) movement against the British regime in 1942. The Congress party has now launched a movement Bharat Jodo (Connecting and Uniting India) against the Modi regime in 2022. Indian people have had a journey of 80 years since Mahatma Gandhi gave that Quit India call to the British and we have to agree that we stand most divided in our modern history when Rahul Gandhi is giving this Bharat Jodo call to the nation. And back then, Congress was a thriving idealistic political movement against the British rulers and now it is an ever weakening political organization electorally defeated several times. However, it is India at stake, not just the Congress party. That is why so many regional political parties, civil society organizations, traditional anti-Congress progressive forces like socialists and communists, intellectuals and civil servants have declared their support and are proactively partici

Shocking? No Covid vaccine trials conducted on pregnant, lactating women: RTI reply

By Rosamma Thomas*  A Right to Information applicant who sought details of safety trials conducted in India on pregnant and lactating women for three Covid vaccines in use in India – Covishield, Covaxin and ZyCov-D -- was shocked to learn from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) that Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, and Cadila Healthcare, manufacturer of the ZyCov-D vaccine, had not sought permission for such trials.  Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, had sought permission for trial on pregnant women and later withdrawn its application. This response , provided after the applicant was initially unsatisfied with the response and went in appeal, is from the joint drugs controller, CDSCO. It was dated September 13, 2022. One researcher closely following the vaccine rollout, however, is of the opinion that the lack of a trial on pregnant and lactating women is a blessing; potential trial participants and their unborn babies thus escaped harm. Aruna Ro

Grave error? Scholar blames ex-Gujarat babu for anti-Christian riots 'citing fake report'

By Rajiv Shah  A few days back, I received a message from one of the finest former Gujarat government bureaucrats, PG Ramrakhiani, a 1964 batch IAS official, who retired in November 2000. I would often interact with him in 1997-99, even later, after I was sent to Gandhinagar as a Times of India man to cover Sachivalaya. Those were turbulent times. Shankarsinh Vaghela was the Gujarat chief minister, under attack from two sides – from the BJP, which he had left to form a separate breakaway party, Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), one one hand, and the Congress, which was supporting him from outside, on the other. Ramrakhiani, in his message, referred to the book authored by Ghanshyam Shah and Jan Breman, both top-notch scholars who have known Gujarat in and out. Called “Gujarat, Cradle and Harbinger of Identity Politics: India’s Injurious Frame of Communalism”, I reviewed the book in January 2022.  It claims that Muslims in Gujarat have been turned into “new untouchables”, thanks to the Hin

Rajasthan cops 'halt' Gujarat Dalit women's rally: homage to untouchability victim boy

By Our Representative  In a surprise move, the Rajasthan police stopped a Dalit women's rally from Gujarat on the borders after it crossed Gujarat alleging that it would "disturb peace" in village Surana, Jalore district, where the gruesome incident of death of a Dalit boy took place on August 13 after he was brutally beaten up by his teacher on touching the drinking water pot. Sources said, while the Gujarat government had "no objection" in allowing the rally, which originated from the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), an empowerment-cut-technical institute for teens founded by human rights leader Martin Macwan, on September 24 morning, the Rajasthan police stopped it for two and a half hours before allowing it to proceed to Surana. The decision to take out a women's rally was taken at a DSK meeting on September 5 following a condolence meeting of the NGO Navsarjan Trust, also founded by Macwan, activists committed to work against caste-based discrimination, orga

Excess to cheetah in Kuno to increase 'woes' of local people, 'disturb' wildlife balance

Bharat Dogra*  The release of eight cheetahs into the Kuno National Park ( Madhya Pradesh) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, although accompanied by a media blitz, has raised several questions. The animals were flown from Namibia to Gwalior and from there they were taken to the release site in a helicopter. Official sources have stated that this is the first time a large carnivorous species has been moved across continents for establishing a new population. This first release will be followed by others under this project. However, precisely for this reason, it is important to be cautious because if such translocations have been generally avoided in the past, there may have been reasons for this and at the same time we do not have much learning experiences from the past. The Cheetah became extinct in India in 1952, although this very fast moving animal is still remembered in the folklore of many areas. Hence the first impulse is to say that trying to introduce and revive

Introducing non-native cheetahs is 'not equivalent' to restoring pride in the nation

By Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay*  The Cheetahs from the African continent has finally been introduced to India by the Indian Prime Minister on his 72nd birthday. The process had started with the previous Government in 2009. However, the Supreme Court clearance was pending owing to the objection by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) plea to reintroduce cheetahs. Finally the clearance was obtained in January 2020 and thereafter Kuno National Park (KNP) was chosen for the reintroduction of first set of Southeast African Cheetahs. In the near future, depending upon the success story of the current reintroduction, more cheetahs from South Africa may also be introduced. This exercise has generated a lot of interest among various stakeholders with opinions on both sides galore. It is important to pose some questions that surround the whole exercise. Let us evaluate some of these arguments. The first set of arguments are quite detached from the issues of conservation as they most

'Military diplomacy': US praises Bangladesh Army for leadership role in UN operations

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder* As the Indo-Pacific region represents the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity, the Indian Ocean today is becoming the centerpiece of all geo-strategic play. Cooperation in the region is crucial to implementing the international community’s global agenda, including achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Major powers like the US have enhanced and deepened their strategic engagement and leadership roles with countries in the region. The Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar, or IPAMS, is a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) initiated conference that is aimed at facilitating and enhancing interactions among the armies of the Indo-Pacific region. This year's 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS)-2022, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC), concluded in Dhaka. The objective of IPAMS is to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. It is the largest confer

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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.