States fail to allocate funds to SC development plans

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New Delhi, May 24 (UNI) A Parliamentary panel castigated Rajasthan, Bihar and Kerala, which have a sizeable Scheduled Caste (SC) population, for not allocating any funds for the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) for 2007-2008.

The allocations under the SCSP, in proportion to the percentage point of SC population, is the main criterion for the release of grants by the Centre under the Special Central Assistance Scheme.

SCSP is one of the most important interventions through the planning process for social, economic and educational development of the Scheduled Castes, and for their working and living condition.

The Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment has lambasted the three states and also those which have not allocated any funds for their Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) in proportion to their population. These states are Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

Andhra Pradesh has 16.20 per cent SC population but its SCSP outlay is just 7.53 per cent. The SC population of Himachal Pradesh is 24.70 per cent, while the SCSP is just 11 per cent of its annual plan. Punjab has 28.90 per cent SCs, but its allocation for the SCSP is 26.02 per cent of the annual plan.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment provides 100 per cent grant under the Central Sector Scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) as an additive to the SCSP on the basis of the following criteria: The SC population of the States/Union Territories, their relative backwardness, percentage of the SC families in the states covered by the composite economic development programmes in the state plan to enable them to cross the povertyline, and the percentage of the SCSP to the annual plan as compared to the SC population percentage.

The second installment of the SCA is released after ensuring the expenditure of the cumulative opening balances of the previous year and 75 per cent utilisation of the first installment for the current year.

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