Poor utilisation of SC/ST funds by govt. departments

Funds meant for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have remained unspent in several departments. Worse, the Law Department has spent 0% of the allocated amount.

The Higher Education Department, headed by Minister Basavaraj Rayaraddi, has spent only 6%, while Youth Empowerment, Skill Development, and Labour departments spent just 3% of the released amounts as on November 30, 2017.

Of the ₹1.86 crore released to the Law Department, not a single rupee was used for the welfare of SC/ST communities during the current fiscal.

₹27,703.54 cr. released

A total of ₹27,703.54 crore was released to 37 departments till November-end for 442 programmes during 2017-18 under the Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Act, 2013.

But only 42% of the released amount was utilised, according to documents given by the Social Welfare Department. A sum of ₹19,711.51 crore was released for welfare of SCs and ₹8,204.89 crore (42%) was spent. A sum of ₹7,992 crore was released for uplift of STs and ₹3,422.1 crore was spent (43%).

Minister for Social Welfare H. Anjaneya, who has clearly expressed his displeasure on the underutilisation of funds, said another round of meetings would be called next month and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would be invited to chair the meeting so that directions can be issued for expediting the use of funds this fiscal.

Non-purchase of laptops for free distribution to students from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, backward classes and lower income groups studying in government colleges is said to be the main reason for poor utilisation of funds by the Higher Education Department.

As many as 11 departments — Major and Medium Industries (28%), Women and Child Welfare (27%), Health (24%), Minor Irrigation and Fisheries (21% each), Kannada and Culture (18%), Horticulture and Revenue Textiles (16% each), Hand-looms and Textiles (13%), Information and Publicity (12%), PWD (11%), have utilised less than 30% of sanctioned funds.

Only departments such as Energy (67%), Housing (60%), Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (55%), Social Welfare and Major Irrigation (51% each), Sericulture and Scheduled Tribes (50% each), performed fairly better by spending more than 50% of the sanctioned funds.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 6:14:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/poor-utilisation-of-scst-funds-by-govt-departments/article21295564.ece

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