Budget funds for OBCs, minorities low, finds study

Allocation of funds for other backward classes (OBCs) and minorities is abysmally low and there are no guidelines for allocation to these groups, according to findings of a study by Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy of National Law School of India University.

 

Allocation for minorities ranged between 0.07 per cent and  0.64 per cent of total expenditure in the last 10 years. Allocation for OBCs was little better between 0.53 per cent to 0.74 per cent during the same period.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah released the findings of the study on Tuesday. The study on budgetary allocations with special reference to social groups done by Abdul Aziz, S Japhet of NLSIU and others found that there were no guidelines on allocations to these groups. They felt that a deprivation index should be formulated and compared with deprivation index for the whole State. 

Another analysis done by T R Chandrashekar, Member, Quality Monitoring Group of Planning Department, revealed that successive budgets have not officially recognised regional disparity as a problem, though the High Power Committee on Regional Imbalance headed by D M Nanjundappa in its report recommended an eight-year special development plan (SDP) with an investment of Rs 31,000 crore. 

Part of plan expenditure

Though the SDP has been implemented since 2007-08, the allocation was not additional but part of plan expenditure. The total amount allocated in the budget between 2007-08 and 2012-13 was Rs 14,845 crore, while the actual release was only Rs 10,896 crore.

Siddaramaiah, who will be presenting his ninth budget on February 14, said that all measures would be taken to bridge regional, social and economic imbalances, while infrastructure development would also be given priority.

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