Andhra Pradesh recently became the first State to have a law protecting the interests of the SCs and STs in budget allocation. The Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Act, 2013, came into being on January 24.
Taking its cue from this, the coalition has suggested the setting up of a nodal agency or development authority for disbursement and appraisal of funds under the SCPs.
“Schemes and programmes shall have special focus on gender concerns with emphasis on empowerment of women, including girl-children. Besides, all children, youth, aged and people with disability and other vulnerable social identities within SCs and STs shall be considered on a priority basis. Schemes and programmes shall be included in, and funded from, the SCP which directly and exclusively benefit SC individuals, families, groups, habitations and institutions in order to fulfil the overarching objectives listed above,”