Belgaum: The district unit of the Karnataka State Dalit Sangarsh Samiti (DSS) on Tuesday demanded that the State Government ensure 23 per cent of funds in the Budget for welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportionate to their population.
Activists of the unit along with members of the Karnataka State Dalit Students’ Federation and Karnataka State Dalit Women’s Federation took out a procession from Dr. Ambedkar Bhavan to the Deputy Commissioner’s office where they staged a demonstration in support of their demands.
Unit leaders Kalappa Kamble and Dadasaheb Mane led the activists.
In a memorandum submitted to the Government, they stated that last year, the Planning Commission of India had directed the State governments to ensure budgetary allocations for the development of the SCs and the STs in proportionate to their population.
The then Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was holding the Finance portfolio in the Janata Dal (S)-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition Government, had expressed his inability to implement the directive and had given an undertaking to the Centre that the State would implement it “next year”.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who was set to present the Budget for 2008-09 on July 17, should implement what he had promised to the Centre and the people of the State.
The Government should take steps to nationalise the mines in the State, waive loans taken by the SCs and STs from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Development Corporation on the lines of waiver of farm loans, establishment of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Bhavans in all town, city and corporation limits and set up a single window agency to extend benefits of various welfare schemes to the beneficiaries.
The activists sought increase in the scholarship money to SC/ST students, hostel facilities for students and annual summer vacation for schools and colleges from April 15.