Govt urged not to divert SC, ST sub plan funds

Govt urged not to divert SC, ST sub plan funds

The Karnataka State SC/ST Entrepreneurs and Industrialists Association has urged the State government not to divert funds allotted for Scheduled Caste Sub Plan/Tribal Sub Plan (SCSP/TSP) to projects other than those meant for development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Addressing a press meet during a workshop on SCSP/TCP Priority Allocation - 2015-16, Association President L Hanumanthaiah said that Rs 8,818.31 crore was allotted under the plan during 2013-14 and the allotment had been increased to Rs 15,834.18 crore in the current fiscal.

“More than 50 per cent of the funds has been diverted for general schemes such as schools, colleges, roads, government buildings, drains, irrigation projects. The Planning Commission has strongly recommended that the diversion of funds for general schemes should not be more than five per cent,” said Hanumanthaiah. He said that SCSP/TCP Act provides that funds should be spent only for three purposes - members of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, their families and for general schemes.

Money used for irrigation

Elaborating further on the diversion of funds, JD(S) MLA from Mudigere constituency B B Ningaiah that approximately SCSP/TCP funds to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore had been spent on irrigation schemes during the period 2010-11 till date.

“I was in the SC/ST Welfare Committee to oversee the utilisation of funds for the downtrodden communities. On department-wise verification of projects, we found that  SCSP / TSP funds to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore have been utilised for irrigation. After field visits, we also found out that a majority beneficiaries of the irrigation projects were not SC/STs. This is nothing but misuse of funds,” Ningaiah said.

Taking lessons from the past, the association will set up its own monitoring system for utilisation of funds. It has also urged the government to utilise the funds for skill development of SC/ST youth. Association executive president G Srinivasan said that the funds under the scheme were being equally distributed among all the districts without considering the population of SC/STs. “Gulbarga has a maximum SC population, whereas Udupi has very less. But the funds are equally allotted to both districts. This leads to diversion of funds. Funds should be allotted to the districts based on the population of SC/STs in Karnataka,” he said.

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