HDI to be yardstick for SC/ST fund utilisation

MARCH 22, 2017 12:14 PM IST

Depts. gearing up to ensure that the outcomes justify the budget allocation

The SC and ST Welfare departments have enlisted the services of Centre for Economic and Social Studies to provide a baseline data on the human development index (HDI) parameters for the two communities in the State.

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With about ₹22,000 crore allocated for SC, ST Special Development Fund for 2017-18, the departments are gearing to ensure that the outcomes justify the allocation.

The baseline data will become a tool to evaluate the improvement of HDI on various parameters every year and how effectively the funds are spent on education, health, skill development, employment generation for the socio-economic development of these two communities, say sources.

The budget allocation of ₹ 14,000 crore for SCs and ₹ 8,000 crore for STs will be towards expenditure on both projects and schemes of about 40 departments for the two communities in proportion to their population.

General expenditure

Department sources said that the funds would be spent not only on the SC, ST individuals and communities, but also on development and infrastructure projects like Musi Riverfront Development and Hyderabad Roads Development though there was demand that project expenditure should be part of general expenditure.

The government’s argument is that these development projects would have a positive impact on all categories of people. The quantum of expenditure to be accounted under the projects would depend on the percentage of SC /ST population in the habitations near these projects.

Population percentage

If a habitation has more than 40% SC population near the project, then it would be considered as expenditure on that community. If the SC population in a habitation is less, say 20%, then 20% of the funds for the project would be categorised under the SC/ST component as the case may be.

The budget has a huge allocation of ₹25,000 crore for Irrigation and ₹5,000 crore for the R&B, which fall under the non-divisible pool of funds. Allocation of funds from this non-divisible pool into the account of SC and STs is a challenge, admit officials.

The accepted formula is to put 7% of allocation from the irrigation sector under the SC/ST component.

If these projects are not executed as per the plan, then the departments will have to increase the expenditure on other schemes to meet the statutory requirement under the SC, ST Sub-Plan Act.

Courtesy: Thehindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/hdi-to-be-yardstick-for-scst-fund-utilisation/article17546791.ece

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