Finance Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia presented the budget for NCT on March, 22nd 2018. This is the second budget presented by the government in the merged scenario. The Minister presented a budget of Rs.53000Cr.
The financial year of 2018-19 has proved to be a very crucial year from the viewpoint of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. In light of the merger of the plan and non-plan aspect of budget, many of the state governments have done away with the nomenclature of Scheduled Caste Sub plan and Tribal Sub plan (henceforth SCSP-TSP), we highly appreciate that the Delhi Government has continued with the policy of presenting SCSP statement in a separate code. It is also commendable that the Delhi government has introduced number of specific schemes that have potential of providing targeted benefits to the members of the marginalised communities. If these schemes like scholarships for SC & ST students in higher education along with the coaching scheme for the post matric students are implemented in participatory and transparent manner, then this has the potential for providing direct benefits to the most deserving youth from the weaker sections of the society. It is also very pertinent that for the first time in the budget of Delhi government, separate allocation has been made for the members of Scheduled Tribe community, although in a minimal way.
TABLE – 1
|Delhi Budget 2018-19 in Rs Cr.|
|Total Delhi Budget||53000.00|
|Total % of SC Population||16.8%|
|Total Due share @ 7.43% [*] (post merger scenario)||3937.9|
|% of Allocation||2.50|
|% of denied allocation||5.00|
Source: Detailed Demand for Grants, FY 2018-19.
The analysis of Delhi Budget from the point of view of the Dalit community reveals that the policy of sub-plan has unfortunately continued to be overlooked in terms of allocation and planning. According to the SCSP guidelines, the budget allocations have to be made in proportional percentage of the SC population. In the merged scenario of Plan and Non-Plan estimates, keeping the Jadhav guidelines imply allocating at least 7.43% under SCSP. The analysis of 2018-19 budget shows that the due share of SC as per the policy should have been Rs. 3937.9Cr. i.e. 7.43 % of the total BE of the state. However, as per the budget presented by the Finance Minister, the total allocation for SCSP only amounts for Rs. 1327.0 Cr. i.e. 2.50% , clearly denying Rs. 2610.89Cr to the community. This is a huge gap of allocation and denial of justified resources for the Scheduled Caste community. Similarly, the allocation for Scheduled Tribes amounts to only Rs. 1.01 Cr. that can be understood as “nominal” at its best.
The Delhi Government announced a much-demanded new scheme, titled, “Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Yojna”, with an aim for providing subsidised coaching for SC students from economically weaker sections. The new scheme received an an allocation of Rs.24Cr. This is highly appreciable and awaited step. However this scheme for effective implementation must increase its coverage to increase parental income ceiling from the proposed Rs 2 lakhs per-annum to Rs 5 lakhs per annum so that more SC students can benefit from this programmes. In addition, the allocated amount, is inadequate in A comparison to the eligible students from SC community.
The other new schemes, which are appreciable, are the financial assistance, which proposes fixed deposit for students under the age of 18 years, and this scheme needs a larger allocation.
Keeping in mind the ill-effects of unwarranted evictions, GST and demonetisation, which has adversely affected the most poor of the SC community, there was an urgent need to rejuvenate the small and micro enterprises and address the growing unemployment among the SC & ST youth, but it has been quite disappointing that no measure to this end have been announced in the budget of 2018-19.
In regards to of making school education and health sector inclusive, some very important steps have been initiated by the Budget of 2018-19, especially through schemes such as Sarvodaya schools and Mohalla clinics. But at the same time, the community demands for special high quality residential schools for SC children was ignored and there was no targeted schemes towards Basti development in Bastis with large number of SC population. Despite efforts being made by the government in the last year towards setting up of Mohalla clinics and opening of classrooms to aid access to education, all steps towards social justice, yet the Finance Minister in his speech did not mention Dalit community of allocations for them.
It is commendable that a scheme for SC/ST/OBC and Minority students on the lines of “Ladli scheme” has been proposed in the budget and allocation under this scheme is Rs. 10 Crs for girls. Overall allocations for Dalit women amounted to Rs. 82.23Cr. i.e. 6.20% of the entire SCSP allocation. Considering Dalit women form 50% of the Dalit population in the city and a government that claims to be committed towards welfare and social justice, these allocations are inadequate to achieve gender equity.
Examples of notional/general schemes under SCSP
- Senior Citizen Pension Scheme (Expansion of Old Age Assistance)
Allocation for 2018- 19: Rs.150 Cr
Profile: Provide social security by way of financial assistance (Rs 1,000 per month) to destitute, old and disabled persons above 60 years of age without any means of subsistence.
Besides SCs, the SCSP amount is being used for others also. This is a violation of policy guidelines.
- Grants-in-aid to DUSIB for construction of pay and use Jan Suvidha Complexes
Allocation for 2018-19: Rs.80Cr.
Profile: The scheme aims to address environmental problems arising from slum dwellers defecating in the open. As per a survey done by the Food & Civil Supplies Department, as on January 31, 1990, there were 9.5 lakh dwellers in notified slums and 13 lakh dwellers then staying on encroached public land, and the scheme was to cover them.
SCSP guidelines don’t allow the usage of SCSP funds in a way that benefits all.
- Total Fund allocation for dispensary/health centre/Hospital
Allocation for 2018 – 19: Rs. 275.72 Cr.
Profile: The Directorate of Health Services is responsible for planning and building dispensaries and hospitals in Delhi.
These services will be available for all and not just for SCs, which violates policy guidelines.
- Construction of school buildings
Allocation for 2018 -19: Rs.20Cr
Profile: The Department of Education, through the Finance (Budget) Infrastructure Desk, has the mandate to construct school buildings. The scheme is good, but it targets everyone and not just SCs,
- Grants to DUSIB for construction of houses for weaker section (JNNURM)
Allocation for 2018-19: Rs.2.1Cr
Profile: The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board is the nodal agency for relocation/rehabilitation of slum dwellers.
Since the scheme does not conform to policy guidelines to provide benefits to SCs only, it is notional in nature.
- Grants to DUSIB for environmental improvement in urban slums
Allocation for 2018 – 19: Rs.22.Cr
Profile: Provide basic amenities in slum clusters, including internal lanes/drains, community toilets and Shishu Vatika for children.
The scheme is being implemented in a way that doesn’t ensure direct benefits to the target group.
- Improving infrastructure (roads, localities, street lights, etc) in each assembly constituency
Allocation for 2018 – 19: Rs. 55 Cr.
Profile: Launched as the MLALAD scheme in 1994-95, it gives Rs. 4 Cr to every MLA every year.
Examples of good schemes benefiting SCs directly
- Grants-in-aid to DUSIB for financial assistance to SC slum dwellers under Rajiv Ratan Awaas Yojana
Allocation for 2018 – 19: Rs.0.01Cr
Profile: Provides subsidy/reimbursement to SC slum dwellers chosen for relocation under a DUSIB scheme. The assistance is equivalent to the beneficiary contribution required under the relocation scheme.
Allocation to such a good scheme that provides direct benefit is very low. It should be increased to enable a slum-free city.
- Scholarship/merit scholarship to SC/ST/OBC/minority students
Allocation for 2018 – 19: Rs.70 Cr
Profile: A student can avail the scholarship, either under the State Plan Scheme or under Centrally Sponsored Scholarship Scheme, whichever is beneficial to him/her. They need to inform the awarding authority through the head of the institution by mode of a declaration.
- Post Matric Scholarship for SC students: Rs. 21 Cr.
Allocation to such a direct benefitting scheme should be increased.
- Loan to DSFDC for Delhi Swarozgar Yojana for SC/ST/OBC/minorities
Allocation for 2018 -19: Rs.2 Cr.
Profile: This Corporation aims to bring all-round economic development and upliftment of SCs in the NCT of Delhi.
It’s a good scheme with direct benefit. However, unfortunately, the implementing agency has a poor image and is now defunct. It should be made fully functional, with adequate funding.
- Free supply of textbooks
Allocation for 2018 -19: Rs. 88.19 Cr
Profile: Provide free supply of textbooks to students from nursery to Class XII.
- Improvement of SC bastis
Allocation for 2018-19: Rs. 65 Cr
Profile: Aims to improve living conditions in bastis habituated mostly by SCs by carrying out civil works such as repair of chaupals, construction of common bathrooms and community latrines, repair/relaying of drains and pavements, construction of bituminous roads or CC flooring approach roads or kharanjas as per requirement, repair of SC dharamshalas, etc.
One of the most popular schemes under this sector, it has improved living conditions in SC clusters, both authorised and unauthorised. A good scheme, it should be scaled up to cover bastis that come under the 11 reserved districts of Delhi.
- Allocation under Ladli Schemes: Rs. 10 Cr.
- Hostel for Scheduled Caste Girls
Allocation for 2018-19: Rs. 0.73 Cr
Profile: Provide hostel facilities to SC girls for a congenial study environment.
- Training SC labourers through short-term courses for self-employment
Allocation for 2018 -19: Rs. 0.10 Cr
Profile: Provides special training/coaching to SCs to prepare them for jobs in the private sector or to turn entrepreneur. There is a proposal to include various categories of skill development programmes.
It’s a good initiative, but the allocation is token and needs to be increased.
RECOMMENDATION UNDER SCSP FOR DELHI:
- SCSP allocation should be made proportionate to the population.
- The schemes must be designed to directly target SC community and be finalised in consultation with SC communities & their leaders.
- 50% of the total outlay, proportionate to the SC women population to be set aside for targeted programmes for the welfare and development of SC Women and children.
- Appointment of an exclusive Finance Secretary, called Secretary Finance (Sub Plans) located in the Department for the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/Ministry to perform the functions relating to budget formulation.
- A “Gender Unit” within the nodal agency shall prepare the SCSP plan with schemes targeting SC women and children
- The nodal department to be given sufficient funds resources, human resources and full administrative power to execute the responsibilities as per the SCSP guidelines.
- To formulate schemes not merely survival-oriented but, focus on acquisition and generation of knowledge, building of durable assets, accessing skills development for gainful and professional occupation, engaging in entrepreneurship and business enterprises, political capacitating and empowerment that are critical for bridging the development gap.
- Re-appropriate all Diverted, Notionally allocated & Denied Funds under SCSP. The nodal department shall make a pool of fund of unutilised amount.
- SCSP fund shall be non-lapsable and non-divertible.
- SCSP fund shall not be allocated to General Schemes that are accessible to all including the Scheduled Castes.
- State government bureaucrats responsible for implementing SCSP schemes and projects to be made accountable to the SCs community in their respective municipalities as regards information, activity report and assessment data concerning SCP schemes and projects;
- The Comptroller and Auditor General or Auditor General shall have statutory independence from the Executive, and that access to information and appropriate resources to audit and report publicly on the use of SCSP funds be mandated accordingly.
- Make efforts to bring legislation for SCSP along the line of Karnataka & AP regarding planning, allocation, utilisation and audit of expenditures at the state level.
- As per the, 2010 Revised Guidelines on SCSP, Planning Commission of India has suggested that, the State Govt. may constitute a “Scheduled Castes Development Council” under the Chief Minister, to perform the functions assigned to it.
DEMANDs FROM THE SC COMMUNITY
Departments and other agencies of the State shall, in particular with the consultation of SC and ST communities, give high priority to the following schemes:
- Provision of housing-sites and adequate houses with all facilities for all SC families;
- Residential schools of high quality to ultimately cover all SC boys and girls up to Class XII;
- Coaching schemes of high quality in the last years in school to equip the SC boys and girls to compete for selections to professional and other higher educational institutions
- Scholarships to all SC boys and girls studying professional education.
- Make efforts to bring legislation for SCSP along the line of Karnataka & Telangana regarding Planning, Allocation, Utilisation and audit of expenditures at the state level.
- Provision of civic amenities and facilities necessary for SC localities, potable drinking water facilities, adequate housing, sanitation facilities; community hall with 24×7 electricity and computers to be used as study centres for SC children and for other common developmental and welfare activities, internal roads, electricity, telephonic and digital links, postal and telegraph links,
- Quality Health care Schemes for reduction of neo-natal mortality, infant mortality, child mortality, maternal mortality, malnutrition, anaemia among SCs, especially SC children and women, and bringing them to the level of Socially Advanced Castes (SACs)
- Total liberation and comprehensive rehabilitation of manual scavengers.
- Measures for preventing fresh recruitment of manual scavengers and humanisation of other sanitation services such as introduction of modern machinery to clear sewages without human beings having to get into manholes.
- Schemes for skill development, entrepreneurship development, fulfilment of reservations and equipping SCs to compete successfully for open competition jobs and posts.
- Schemes for promoting and supporting NGOs from Scheduled Caste and
to facilitate the SC community to access and monitor its rights and entitlements in the Act.
- Schemes that will benefit SCs directly and are related to Acquiring, Developing, Innovating and Producing Knowledge: doctoral and post-doctoral research within and outside the state and country, doing primary research projects in science and technology, attending conferences abroad, setting up private research institutes, fellowships for research projects and publications, etc.
- Sufficient funds to implement Scheduled Caste Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities act to address the growing violence
LIST OF SUGGESTIVE SCHEMES
|Suggestive Schemes Under the SCSP for SCs in Delhi for FY 2018-19.|
|S. No.||Category||Concern Dept/Ministry.||Name of Scheme*||Proposed Budget (Rs. in Cr)|
|1||Education||Dept. For the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/Minor.||Construction of Buildings for Residential Schools.||100.00|
|2||Education||Dept. For the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/Minor.||Overseas Scholarship for Graduate and Post Graduate Students.||35.00|
|3||Education||Dept. For the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/Minor.||Hostel for SC Boys||100.00|
|4||Education||Dept. For the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/Minor.||Hostel for SC Girls.||100.00|
|5||Scholarship||Dept. For the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/Minor.||Scholarship for Colleges and University Students for SC/ST/month. (As per govt. rule Rs. 1620/- X 12 for Medical, Engineering and other technical courses.)||60.00|
|6||Health||Dept. Of Health.||Construction of Building for dispensary/ health centre/Basti.||50.00|
|7||Entrepreneurship||Social Welfare-DSFDC||Training to SC Labourers through short-term courses for self-employment. (Govt. rule, Under SJSRY, Rs. 10,000/- per person for Skill training.)||6.00|
|8||Entrepreneurship||Social Welfare- DSFDC||Margin Money Loan to DSFDC for Self-employment to ensure livelihood to promote Entrepreneurship.||10.00|
|9||Housing||Dept. For the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/Minor.||Low Cost housing for SC families.||1200.00|
|10||Employment||DSFDC||Delhi Swarojgar Yojana for SC/ST/Minorities. (Govt. rule Rs. 200000/- to 500000/- under Self Employment Scheme for Educated Unemployed Youths of School & College Dropouts.)||100.00|
|TOTAL Rs. in Cr.||1761.00|