Diwali is celebrated by giving gifts to others, but Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra is setting a new trend of diverting amount of Rs. 1000 Crore from Scheduled Caste Component and Scheduled Tribe Component. On 16th October 2017, Maharashtra Government published a resolution of Tribal Development Department and Cooperation, Textile and Marketing Department stating Rs. 500 Crore from Scheduled Caste Component Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) is released for farmer’s loan waiver under Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Farmer’s Honour Scheme 2017. GR of Tribal Development Department further says that, an amount of Rs 1000 Crore is approved for loan waiver, out of which Rs 500 crore of Cooperation, Textile and Marketing Department is released and rest of the amount will be spent in this year only, this is nothing but a theft of Dalit Adivasi Budget.
It is interesting to note that, no allocation was made to Cooperation, Textile and Marketing Department in budget 2017-18, during March Budget session. However outlay of Rs. 500 Crore to Cooperation, Textile and Marketing department in a revised estimate of 2017-18, is just to divert the amount of Dalits and Adivasis. An outlay of Rs. 7230 Cr and Rs 6574 Cr was made the budget session. The development plan proposed by Finance Minister was of Rs. 77184 Crore, after the merger of Plan & Non-Plan, ideally Rs. 9108 Cr and Rs 7355 Cr should have been allocated to Dalits and Adivasis in proportion to their population of 11.8% and 9.4% respectively. Schemes of Sub-Plan are divided into State and District level, under SCSP outlay for state-level scheme is Rs 4531 Crore, but according to budget books, only Rs. 3602 Cr is allocated and on top of that Rs. 500 Crore is approved for waiving farmer’s loan. No doubt, farmer’s loan should be waived and Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan (DA3) supports that demand, but for which Dalits and Adivasi budget should not be diverted.
In fact, there is a long pending demand of load waiver of Dalits of Finance Development Corporation like Annabhau Sathe Corporation, Mahatma Phule Corporation but the government is opening old wounds. DA3 strongly condemns the Devendra Fadnavis government to used Sub Plans amount for farmer’s loan waiver. In fact, Maharashtra government should bring legislation on SCSP and TSP for Buddhists, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, in order to have proper allocation, expenditure and to stop diversion. Similar legislation is enacted by the States of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the year 2013. After the merger of Plan and Non-plan, Telangana has enacted new legislation called ‘Scheduled Caste Special Development fund and Scheduled Tribe Special Development fund (Planning, Allocation and utilisation of financial resources) Act, 2017. Following table shows comparative figures of Telangana and Maharashtra in the allocation of funds:
|SC Population (2011 census)||54,08,800||1,32,75,898|
|% of Total Population||15.45||11.8|
|Scheduled Caste Development Fund||Rs. 14,375.12 Cr||Rs. 7230 Cr|
|% of Total Population||9.08||9.4|
|Schedule Tribe Special Development Fund||Rs. 8165.87 Cr
|Rs. 6,754 Cr
|Schedule Tribe Special Development Fund||Rs. 8165.87 Cr||Rs. 6,754 Cr|
The SC population of Maharashtra is nearly twice that of Telangana, but fund allocated is half than that of Telangana. Therefore we demand that government of Maharashtra should enact legislation on SCSP & TSP, which is now called SCC & STC.
|Dr Siddharth Dhende||Dr. Sanjay Dabhade||Dr. Nitish Nawsagaray||Adv. Priyadarshi Telang