Reclaiming our economic right- Sau Mein Pachees Haq Hamara!
In the current union budget 2012-13, a shortfall of Rs. Cr. 27526.78 to SCP and Rs. Cr. 11008.90 to TSP in violation of the Special Component Plan (SCP) andTribal Sub Plan (TSP) guidelines has been noticed. Even in the amounts thathave been allocated, there is a ‘notional’ allocation (other than intended) ofRs. 6,229.96 cr. in SCP and Rs. 2267.05 cr. in TSP. Thus total denial for SCPRs. Cr. 33,756.74 and Rs. Cr. 13,275.95 for TSP for 2012-13.
SC/ST Budget Adhikar Andolan, a coalition of several organizations across the country, committed to the realization of the rightful claims of SCP and TSP initiated a mass campaign Sau Mein Pachees Haq Hamara , to protest this denial and diversion of funds, on the 24th of April 2012, staging a Dharna (sit-in) at Jantar Mantar. There were parallel protests in 6other states and will culminate into a huge mass mobilization on May 9, 2012, with a protest march “Chalo Parliament”(Let us march forward together in protest to the Parliament).
Instead of using these planned funds of SCP and TSP for designing schemes exclusively for the direct benefit of Dalits and Adivasis, the money is diverted to notional schemes (other than intended), like building public infrastructure, tax concessions to corporations, construction of jails and so on. One classic example being the illegal diversion of Rs. Cr. 678 of SCP to building of stadia and other infrastructure for the commonwealth games! Thus, the need is to STOP the misuse of fund belonging to Dalits and Adivasis exclusively for their development and welfare.
In the XIth plan period alone Rs Cr. 96,236.70 was denied to Dalits and Rs Cr. 46,628.50 to Adivasis, making a total of Rs.Cr.1,42,865.20 for SCP/TSP of the Union Government alone. If the aggregate of Union and state denials were to be aggregated, the amount denied would be double of what it is now at the Union level.
It has been 33 years that the special plans of SCP and TSP are instituted (1978-79), where the government promised that out of every 100 rupees spent by the government, Rs.16/- will be spent for Dalits and Rs.8/- spent for Adivasis every year; AND that the funds would be used for such schemes that will directly benefit SC/ST individuals/households or SC/ST bastis/tolas/localities. The government has instead, diverted a large share of this money for general schemes, hardly benefitting them.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh remarked that SCP and TSP should be non-divertible and non- lapsable, with the clear objective of bridging the gap in socio-economic development of the SCs and STs within a period of 10 years. 33 years have lapsed and the government has failed to keep its promise even once.
We therefore demand that:
I. A Central Legislation be designed for Special Component Plan and Tribal Sub Plan. This Central legislation should provide for:
a. Clearly setting apart a proportion of the total Plan outlays of Centre and States that is equivalent to the population proportion of SCs/STs at national and state levels for their development.
b. A well- designed, dedicated institutional set-up at the Central & State level, which shall allocate SCP/TSP funds to the Ministries/Departments, duly taking into consideration the developmental needs of SCs/STs. This will enable the Ministries/Departments to clearly show the schemes formulated for the development of SC/STs under a separate budget head.
c. Encouraging participation of community, CSOs and experts in planning as well as implementation and evaluations of schemes.
d. Publishing the performance/outcome budget every year, providing details about the beneficiaries which is made accessible to the public.
II. II. We demand, that the shortfall including the notional amounts of Rs. Cr. 33,756.74 of SCP and Rs. Cr. 13,275.95 of TSP in the current Union budget 2012-13, be returned and reallocated to schemes with a clear objective of bridging socio-economic gap between SCs/STs and Non-SCs/STs with particular focus on health, education, housing, assignment/acquisition of land, employment, income generation, entrepreneurship and access to basic amenities.