The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government has been liberal in allotting funds for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/STs), according to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

In a statement issued on Thursday, he said that while the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) regimes set apart Rs. 696.16 crore during 1991-1996 and Rs. 2,219.16 crore during 2001-2006, the DMK governments allocated Rs. 2,170 crore during 1996-2001 and Rs. 3,086.35 crore during 2006-2009.

The Chief Minister gave an account of various measures taken by the DMK government, in different tenures, over the years. He recalled the establishment of an exclusive department for the SC/STs in May 1969 and the creation of a separate directorate for tribal welfare in March 2000. Launched in February 1974, the scheme for free housing meant for Adi-Dravidars was adopted subsequently at the national level, which was named after Indira Gandhi.

In the case of STs, the exclusive reservation of one per cent for them ensured the admission of 58 students to Anna University; 45 students to government and government-aided colleges and 170 self-financing colleges for B.E. Eighteen students were admitted for medicine, he pointed out.

Mr. Karunanidhi’s statement was issued in the light of a delegation of Marxist leaders calling on him a few days ago and submitting a representation to him on the issue of removal of untouchability.

Minister’s meeting

An official release stated that Adi-Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Minister A. Tamilarasi, at a meeting with Adi-Dravidar Welfare Officers, directed them to submit a report to the government in two weeks if assistance under various scholarship schemes had not been fully distributed to students in any district. She also sought status reports on the utilisation of funds for different economic development schemes by December 31.