To prevent diversion of funds and spending of allocated funds for the schemes directly benefiting the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population, the State Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed the Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, allocation and utilization of Financial Resources) Bill, 2013.

The Bill, drafted on the Andhra Pradesh model, envisages allocation of state plan outlay to be in proportion to the population of SCs and STs; to make allocated funds non-divertible; to spend for the schemes directly benefiting the SCs ad STs people and other matters.

Minister for Social Welfare H. Anjaneya piloted the Bill and it was passed after a long debate with a number of members participating. The officials found guilty of diversion of funds or non-utilization of funds will be liable for an imprisonment of six months. In the case of unspent amount out of allocation in a particular year, the same would be added to the next year allocation but should not be carried beyond that year.

State Council

The Bill made a provision for constitution of the State Council for development of the SC and the ST people with the Chief Minister to head the council. The other members are the Ministers for Social Welfare, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Higher Education and Revenue, five MLAs or MLCs or MPs belonging to SC/ST as nominated by the government and four other officials of different departments.

The term of the nominated MLAs or MLCs or MPs would be 30 months and the Council would meet twice a year. The council would advise the government on all policy matters related to SC/ST sub-plans; suggest measures for planning and implementation of schemes; and approve the annual SC/ST sub-plans proposals of various departments.

Nodal agency

The Bill envisages setting up of a nodal agency headed by the Social Welfare Minister and seven secretaries of different departments are its members.

Its main function is to evaluate and appraise sub-plans, prepare sub-plans, review execution of schemes, identify impediments, co-ordinate with other departments, and directions of the agency would be binding on the departments.

District monitoring committee

The district monitoring committee in each district would be responsible for implementation of plans.

Punishment

The government would formulate an appropriate plan to award incentives for commendable performance. Any official wilfully neglecting his duties required to be performed under the Act will face disciplinary action . The officials wilfully found diversion of funds or non-utilization of funds are liable for an imprisonment for six months, it said.

Former Chief Ministers Jagadish Shettar, B.S. Yeddyurappa, former Ministers C.T. Ravi, Govind Karjol, M.P. Narendraswamy, K.G. Bopaiah (BJP) Ramesh Kumar and K. Shivamurthy (Congress), Chikkamadu and Y.S.V. Datta (both JD-S) and several others spoke on the Bill and gave various suggestions for effective implementation of the law.

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