More offers, less takers for '22.75 pc scheme'

Less population of SC/STs in MCC limits and only few takers for higher studies is also a reason

The Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) has registered 62.11 per cent progress rate in 22.75 per cent scheme under State Finance Commission (SFC) united grants and Municipal Revenue for the fiscal year 2013-14. Compared to last year, the progress rate has been increased by around 12 per cent. However, in spite of the efforts of municipal staff, many plans which offers financial assistance to SC/STs, has not found many takers.

According to the MCC reports, the total amount available under 22.75 per cent scheme from the SFC was Rs 4.44 crore (including the opening balance of Rs 2.05 crore). The total expenditure registered by the MCC, till the end of last fiscal year is Rs 2.86 crore, which includes the expenditure of opening balance Rs 2.02 crore.

In MCC, the total 22.75 per cent fund available under municipal revenue was Rs 2.81 crore. Out of this, the corporation has registered a total expenditure of Rs 1.64 crore for the year and Rs 1.07 crore has been spent out of the remaining balance. Hence, the total allocation including SFC and municipal funds is Rs 7.26 crore and the total expenditure for the year was Rs 4.51 crore, resulting in 62.11 per cent progress.

Poor show

The 22.75 pert cent fund can help the needy in many ways, in individual as well as in community-level. However, the information on expenditure is not very impressive. Under the 22.75 per cent of SFC fund, major part was earmarked for housing and for small industries. Till February, out of Rs 1.32 lakh which was meant for housing, only Rs 1.24 lakh has been spent for the purpose. For small scale industries, out of Rs 12.50 lakh, only Rs 5.50 lakh has been spent. For LPG connection, only Rs 1.45 lakh has been spent out of Rs 3.50 lakh.

Many zeroes

When it comes to some other elements of the scheme, the situation is worst. Under 22.75 per cent of SFC funds (till February), even a single rupee has not been spent to purchase sites, for the reimbursement of student fees, for PhD/post doctorate projects, for LLB students, for skill development training under SJSRY project, for the development of hostels or for legal camps.

Interestingly, the money has not been spent even for road construction and for the construction of Ambedkar Bhavana. Under the municipal fund also, money has not been spent for PG, MBBS/BE students, for doctors to purchase medical instruments, for the students of civic workers to buy books or for health insurance, to provide basic facilities to anganwadis and other community development works.

‘No lack of awareness’

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Community Affair Officer Malini Rodrigues said that SC/ST community members show interest in getting financial assistance for housing and self employment, but do not show interest in other provisions because of many reasons. The annual income of the beneficiary should be less than Rs 1 lakh (for education, Rs 2 lakh). Some times people don’t show interest towards the programmes because it needs documents.

For self employment, the beneficiary should not have any loans pending. The education scholarships are strictly based on merit of past two years, she said.
To a query on possible lack of awareness, she said: “There is no lack awareness about these schemes. We had conducted various programmes along with NGOs to create awareness. A programme called ‘Kalyanavani’ was broadcasted in Akashvani. Interviews of the beneficiaries were also conducted.”

Limitations of scheme

Community Organiser Mamata said that the population of SC/ST is not much in the MCC limits and it is decreasing gradually. In many cases, the students don’t opt for higher studies and in some case, they can not get the benefits as they are in government service, she said.

“Now, there is no provision to give money for ‘Taalibhagya’ scheme. Even, house repair, electric connections have also dropped from the plan. Health expenses can be reimbursed only if the person is covered under ‘Yashasvini’,” she said and added that people should show more interest to know about the benefits meant for them. 

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