Base it on Andhra Pradesh model, say Dalit leaders
Several Dalit leaders on Wednesday criticised the State government for diverting funds earmarked under Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan for other purposes. They urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to bring about a law on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Act, 2013 to stop this grave injustice to Dalits.
They were speaking at a dialogue on Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) with the media, organised by the Centre for Dalit Studies (CDS) and Karnataka Dalit Bahujan Movement (KDBM). The CDS founder-president Mallepalli Laxmaiah, who presided over the dialogue, said more than Rs.13,000 crore earmarked under these two plans in Karnataka was diverted in the last 20 years.
He was supported by CDS director M. Anjaneyulu, who said in 2013-14 alone Rs.1,751 crore under SC Sub-Plan and Rs. 221 crore under Tribal Sub-Plan were diverted in the State. The two leaders alleged that the State government violated the Government of India guidelines despite directions by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Planning Commission.
Asked whether there was any punitive measures against officials concerned for their failure to spend the funds under the sub-plans, Mr. Lakshmaiah said there was a provision in the Andhra Pradesh Act for initiating disciplinary action. But, he urged Mr. Siddaramaiah to insert a clause in the Bill when his government tables it in the legislature to ensure speedy development of the Dalits. Mr. Laxmaiah said Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who declared her commitment to enact a national legislation on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh model in the Jaipur AICC session, had also written to Dr. Singh to do so.
It is the duty of Mr. Siddaramaiah to implement the Assembly election manifesto which contained this promise, which he had announced in July in the legislature also. They also suggested a nodal agency should be set up for implementing the programmes.
KDBM president M. Venkatesh alleged that the MPs and MLAs in the city had failed to utilise the Area Development Funds for the SCs and STs.
Quoting the guidelines, he said 50 per cent of the funds under the sub-plans should be spent for providing drinking water to Dalits, but not a single rupee had been utilised for the purpose in the city.