India

Modi Budget: Dalits/Adivasis Left out, ‘Sab ka Vikas’ Only for Corporates

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

Pursuing unabashedly and openly a pro-corporate policy, the Modi Budget outlines a stark vision of an India that sharply limits budgetary allocations to millions of its poorest and neediest citizens, the Dalits and Adivasis, said the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) – Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan (DAAA), which works towards the elimination of caste-based discrimination.

The Budget has severely fallen short on its fiscal promises and takes away 57 per cent of state money meant for welfare schemes for Dalits and Adivasis, Where are the ‘achhe din’ and sab ke saath sab ka vikas?’ asks an agitated an aam aurat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to whip the budget into shape and make the economy fairer for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections, unfortunately, his words rarely translate into action. Plain rhetoric when the allocations under Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) are way below the Planning Commission guidelines.

This year the allocations are dismal:

Under the SCSP, Rs. 30,850 crore has been earmarked for SCs and Rs. 19,980 crore has been earmarked for tribals. However, as per the guidelines SCs are to be allocated 16.6% of Plan outlay which amounts to Rs 77,236 crore towards SCSP and the amount due to STs through TSP is 8.6% of the Plan outlay which is Rs. Cr. 40,014. Dalits therefore have been denied a total of 61% of the due amount as per SCSP and 53% denied to Adivasis over the amount due under TSP.

When compared to the last year 2014-15 allocations – SCSP allocation was Rs.cr. 43,208 and to TSP was Rs. Cr. 26,714 (after deducting the MNREGA amount), this years allocation is very anti SC and STs of this country.

Dalits and Adivasis have been the backbone of the economic growth through their sheer contribution to the agriculture, and the infrastructure development in this country. However, they are paid far below the minimum wage and their health indicators like infant mortality rates and maternal mortality and rate of anaemia is very high when compared to the non-SC/St population of this of our country.

It is not only ironic but a cruel stroke and atrocity committed on the Dalits and Adivasis of this country by the state which should not only protect but ensure that the development gap is reduced. Union budget has grossly reduced spending on their welfare and development. Where is this going – it is going to support the Corporate with a reduction of Corporate tax from 30% to 25%. The reduction cut in the revenue could be the reduction in the funds to Dalits and Adivasis.

“Today you have let the people down as we witness again the actions of a government that is out of touch and utterly indifferent to the devastation that a cocktail of discrimination, violence and economic injustice has had on Dalit and Adivasi communities,” said.

From the Budget it is clear that the BJP, which came to power riding high on the promise of good days, is not concerned about poor marginalized sections of the society, and it’s mere rhetoric of good governance and development.

Though this Budget could have been used to give real relief to struggling families facing assaults, atrocities, discrimination, poor health, lack of education and unemployment, no concrete measure has been taken to improve their condition.

The Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) and the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP), the most important budgetary components for Dalits and tribals initiated in 1979, became necessary as Dalits and tribals were continuously denied their adequate share of government funds essential for their development. The SCSP and TSP mandate setting aside a proportion of the total Plan outlay of the Centre and state governments equivalent to the proportion of the SCs and STs at the national and state levels,. According to the Census 2011, SC population comprises 16.6% and ST population comprises 8.6% of the total population.

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