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Budget Analysis by National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights -NCDHR

Dalit Adivasi Budget Analysis 2019-20 National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights-Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolon

In February 2019, the Ministry of Finance presented the interim Union Budget 2019-20 in view of the general elections. On 5 July, the first full budget of NDA 2.0 after the general elections has been announced. There was a visible increase in allocations for the SCs and STs in the interim budget by 35.6% for SCs and 28% for STs. It is clear that the budgets in this year are reflective of the Government’s underlying priorities. Our analysis attempts to unpack the nature and quality of allocations and the schemes under the SC and ST budgets

Sab ka Vishwas (Everyone’s Trust) along with Sab ka Vikas (Development for All) is the slogan of the present Government. It aims to bridge the development gap between the Dalits & Adivasis and the rest of the population through its commitment towards promoting socio-economic interests and inclusive development.

The vehicle to realise this slogan is the SC, ST Budgets. In order to unpack the full Union Budget 2019-20 weneed to look at three levels – Allocations, proportion of targeted schemes which directly benefit SCs and STs and budget credibility which measures the gap between the approved Budget and the utilised Budget. However, the budget in this financial year does not reflect the same. It presents several unparalleled declarations which needs to be demystified and compared to ground realities
.
The allocation for Scheduled Caste stands at 81341 Rupees Crores and 52885 Rupees Crores for the
Scheduled Tribes. For the first time, 329 schemes for SC and 338 schemes for ST has been allocated for the welfare of Scheduled Castes (AWSC) & Allocation for Welfare of Scheduled Tribes (AWST).
However, if we place these figures, against the background of large scale poverty among SC, ST communities as well as against the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance, these schemes will not go far in addressing the development gap between SC/ST and the rest of the population. The proportion of targeted schemes is 42.82% with Rs.Cr. 34833 allocated for targeted schemes under SC budget and with 40.9 % with Rs. Cr. 21628 for STs. These are de facto general schemes, with a mask of SC or ST budget schemes. They do not qualify as SC, ST schemes that benefit the communities which it is intended to do.

Another striking feature of 2019-20 budget is the systemic undermining of number of critical schemes by starving them of necessary funds. For example, schemes like Post Matric Scholarship (PMS), University Grants Commission (UGC), Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour, National Fellowship for SC, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, IGNOU Open University, Grants to Voluntary Organisations, land records modernization etc. which are few of the direct benefitting schemes that are denied necessary funds for SC & ST development.

The allocations for nodal ministries i.e. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been significantly reduced compared to last year. Apart from this, the other critical Ministries which have witnessed steep declines in SC development are Rural development, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Drinking water & sanitation. Similarly, from the ST perspective, the critical ministries are MSME and Drinking water & sanitation with substantial decrease. Moreover, there is only a marginal increase in allocations for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA). In a scenario where the overall increase in allocations are as high as 36% and 28% for SC & ST respectively, the nodal ministries of MSJE & MoTA are subjected to major budget cuts despite the existing NITI AAYOG guidelines for Earmarking of Funds for on implementation of SCSP/TSP. The trend of non-targeted allocations both in statement 10A and 10B continues unabated. Good schemes are starved of funds and irrelevant schemes’ allocations are increasing. This year, out of 329 schemes for SC, 233 schemes are non-targeted and without any comprehensive strategy to give benefits to the community. Similarly, only 71 out of 338 schemes for STs have the potential to give direct benefits, while the rest
of them are general in nature. Moreover, their outcomes do not spell any kind of clear roadmap for sustainable development of SC & ST communities. 

 Budget For for Scheduled Castes & For Scheduled Tribes -2019-20 (in Rs. Cr.)
Source: Gov of India -Budget Expenditure Profile 2019-20 Ministry of Finance.


Highlights of Analysis on Union Budget 2019-20

  • Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance along with NITI Ayog, post merger of plan and non-plan have not been followed resulting in denial of not only a large proportion of funds but quality planning has not been followed.

  • Only 42.8% out of the total AWSC and 40.9 % of the total AWST will reach directly to the community

  • Post Matric Scholarships Reduced: It was disappointing to see that the allocation for PMS was reduced from Rs 3000 Cr in RE 2018-19 to Rs. 2926.82 Cr in FY 2019-20 for SCs and similarly, for STs it is reduced from Rs 1643.30 Cr in FY 2018-19 RE to Rs 1613.50 Cr in FY 2019-20.

  • Reduction in Funds for Higher Education: The funds allocated for Higher Education for SCs and STs have grossly reduced- UGC has reduced by 23.5 % and IGNOU has reduced by 50%.

  • A large proportion of the Economic Sector schemes have no relevance to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. For eg. the total allocation under the Depart. of Telecommunication for both SC and ST is a total of Rs.Cr. 2623.89 which is allocated for schemes like ‘optical fibre cable based network for Defence Services’, ‘Compensation to Service Providers’ which has no direct benefit to SCs or STs but only a general scheme.

  • As against the background of the threat to the FRA where more than 11 lakh forest dwellers (both Adivasi & Dalit) are in the danger of eviction, it is almost an irony that Rs. 35 Crs is allocated for Tiger Project from the STC budget.

  • One of the largest Income support schemes under SC ST budget does not have any special allocations for SC and STs.


Note - Here You Can Read full report of NCDHR Analysis Budget in pdf Click Hare


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