National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR)/Orissa Regional Forum for Social Action (OROSA) demanded for proper implementation of TSP & SCSP in the state of Odisha during the coming financial year of 2015-16 during the pre-budget consultation organised by the Finance Department under the Chairmanship of the Hon’ble Minister of Finance Shri. Pradeep Amat at State Guest House Bhubaneswar on 27th January 2015.
Acknowledging this two budget as very much policy oriented and most relevant to the development concern of these communities both at our state level as well at the Union Budget level to alleviate the poor from poverty.The state representatives demanded some of the points and are submitted to the Finance Minister through the memorandum as follows.
- The representative congratulates the Govt of Orissa and the Hon’ble Chief Minister and the Hon’ble Finance Minister for consistently allocating over 16 % for SCSP and 23% for TSP over the last 6 years since FY 2008-09. Odisha is one of the few states that allocation is done as per the SCSP/TSP policy.
- Over 76% of all the SCSP funds have been allocated to General Schemes and as notional allocations which have no direct benefits to SC, ST individuals, families, or habitations or bastis/hamlet. These are gross diversions or misallocations of funds that are exclusively meant for the welfare of SCs and STs. They are used for other purposes like constructing stadiums, construction of 4-lane roads or expressways, bridges, jails, police quarters, major irrigation projects of commercial purpose, etc. For TSP a lesser proportion (50.6%) is spent on General and Notional allocation but the nature of diversions are the same.
- The SCSP, TSP funds and schemes, which are crucial for the development of SCs and STs, should not be made as a‘post facto accounting’ exercise but should take into account the needs of the community while planning and formulation of the schemes.
- Higher Education Department, which plays an important and critical role for SC, ST, economic development. And other sectors which will include the SC ST youth in the development path are being neglected. This severely affects to their education and to the development of SCs and STs in this state.
- In SCSP &TSP, there is insufficient allocation for ensuring Economic, agriculture and development sectors, which is critical for real economic inclusion in the country’s growth vision. The SC and ST communities continue to be economically excluded due to the non-implementation of this SCSP and TSP policy. This is further compounded by a lack of transparency and accountability measures in effective implementation of the plans.
We therefore urge you to take urgent measures to:
- A Proactive Plan evolved with due participation of the SC and ST communities for their growth and development in all parameters of – education, health, agriculture¸ industry and service. Systems in place for participation of SC and ST communities in planning and implementation, and measures of accountability and transparency, and provision of penalties for negligence.
- Prevent gross misallocations, notional allocations and diversions. This could immediately result in approximately amount Rs.8, 000 Crs to be available for the real development of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
- To formulate schemes not merely survival-oriented but, focus on acquisition and generation of knowledge, building of assets (land, capital, etc.), accessing skills development for gainful and professional occupation, engaging in entrepreneurship and business enterprises, political capacitating and empowerment, which are critical for bridging the development gap.
- Special request to design schemes and utilise their full allocation in the coming budget and to recover the amounts that are unspent or misallocated/diverted away from SC/STs.
- To direct CAG to audit the SCSP and TSP Schemes and its implementation over the last five years in the Union and State level. This will strengthen effective implementation at all levels.
- To make efforts to bring a legislation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Plan regarding Planning, Allocation, Utilisation and audit of financial at the central level.
- Clear schemes earmarking 50% share for SC ST women and girls.
We do hope you will consider the inputs of the community and take comprehensive steps to ensure that the budget for 2015-16 will reflect these important aspects to ensure inclusive development.