Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: Activists of the Bahujana United Front staged a dharna in front of Sub-Collector’s office here on Tuesday demanding that the Government resolve the long pending problems of dalits. Front general secretary D. Prem Kumar alleged that the Government was not spending all the funds allocated for development of the dalits in the State. For instance, though the Government had involved the banks in the implementation of minor irrigation schemes, small and marginal farmers of scheduled castes were unable to produce the required bank guarantee for taking advantage of the scheme. The National SC/ST Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) used to finance up to Rs. 1 lakh for each unemployed youth in the district every year for taking up self-employment, but it had been able to finance only 36 youths in 2006-07 because of various rules. Similarly, the ‘Land Purchase Scheme’ was also gathering dust, as the land could not be purchased with the amount the Government was sanctioning.

Upper limit

While the Government had set an upper limit of Rs. 60,000 for purchase of an acre of land, the land value in the district was not less than Rs. 1,50,000. The Government had set a target of selecting 100 beneficiaries under the scheme in 2006-07, but only 23 acres of land could be purchased due to several constraints, he said. Front president Tadiwaka Ramesh Naidu, general secretary D. Prem Kumar and others submitted a memorandum to Sub-Collector Gaurav Uppal urging him to the do the needful.