In spite of the enhanced budget allocations for the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and minorities, experts and activists have sought from the Government a more nuanced and focussed approach towards a more direct intervention.

Highlighting problems in the way schemes for minorities have been designed, they demanded Prime Minister’s 15-Point Programme for minorities to be implemented on the pattern of SC Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) with additional financial assistance from the Central Government. They also highlighted underutilisation of funds by the Minority Affairs Ministry (MMA).

Over the issue of separate allocation for SCSP and TSP, activists working on the issue expressed dissatisfaction over the plans’ current form and implementation, and expressed urgent need for a comprehensive legislation on the issue, similar to the one enacted by the Andhra Pradesh government.

Speaking about the Budget allocation for the minorities Subrat Das from the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability said the commitment made in the 12th Plan was not reflected much in Union Budget 2013-14 in terms of policy priorities and budgetary allocation.

Flagging the issue of underutilisation of fund by the ministry, Mr. Das argued that being the largest programme to address the socio-economic development deficits among Muslims, Multi-Sectoral Development Programme was allocated 42 per cent of the total MMA budget in the 11th Plan. But with just 51 per cent of expenditure out of the total approved projects in the 11{+t}{+h}Plan, the performance of the scheme, however, was far from satisfactory, he added.

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