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Karnataka govt to use 37% of SC/ST funds for guarantees

State law requires the government to spend 24.1 per cent of the total allocable budget on SC/ST welfare.
Last Updated : 06 July 2024, 00:08 IST

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Bengaluru: The Siddaramaiah administration approved on Friday an action plan worth Rs 39,121.46 crore for SC/ST welfare, of which 37 per cent will be used to fund the Congress’ flagship guarantee schemes this fiscal. 

State law requires the government to spend 24.1 per cent of the total allocable budget on SC/ST welfare.

The government has earmarked Rs 27,673.96 crore under the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Rs 11,447.51 crore under the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) this fiscal. 

The guarantee schemes will get Rs 14,730.53 crore from the SC/ST sub-plans money. 

Siddaramaiah said the money will be apportioned based on the number of SC/ST beneficiaries under the schemes. “Through guarantees, we’re providing benefits to SC/STs,” he said. 

The Opposition BJP accused the Congress government of “swindling” money meant for Dalits. “If Babasaheb Ambedkar was alive, he’d have probably taken the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government to task,” Leader of the Opposition R Ashoka charged. 

Siddaramaiah hit back at the BJP, while insisting that the sub-plans money will be spent on SC/STs. “Has any BJP-ruled state implemented this law? Has the Centre introduced this law? We’ve already done away with a provision under which money was ‘deemed’ to have been provided for SC/STs,” he said. 

There are 1.3 crore SC/ST beneficiaries under the guarantee schemes, except Shakti (free bus travel for women) for which data is unavailable. 

Karnataka was the second state after Andhra Pradesh to introduce the SC/ST sub-plans law in 2013. “We’ve been urging the Centre to introduce a similar law,” Siddaramaiah said. 

Using the sub-plans money, the government has decided to hike the monthly financial assistance being given to SC/ST civil services aspirants from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. “We’ll also build a hostel with a quality library in New Delhi for SC/ST civil service aspirants,” Siddaramaiah said. 

Siddaramaiah said the government estimates savings of Rs 1,327 crore under the sub-plans this fiscal. “There are suggestions that it should be used for slum development and the Kalyana Karnataka region. We’ve also decided to provide laptops to SC/ST postgraduate students. This will cost Rs 91 crore,” he said. 

Also, this year, the government will start residential schools for SC/ST kids in 60 hoblis. “We’ve also decided that existing residential schools will have a reservation of 75% for local students and the remaining will be from other districts,” the CM said. 

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Published 06 July 2024, 00:08 IST

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