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Karnataka Govt Plans Utilizes ₹11,000crs, Originally Intended For SC/ST Welfare


The Karnataka government has resolved to allocate a substantial amount of over Rs 11,000 crore, originally intended for SC/ST welfare, towards the implementation of the Congress’ five guarantees. 

Siddaramaiah fires bribe salvo at Bommai | Deccan Herald

Source: Deccan Herald

The decision was reached during a crucial meeting presided over by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, wherein an action plan amounting to Rs 34,293.69 crore under the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (SCSP-TSP) was approved. This redirection of funds marks a noteworthy shift in priorities, sparking debates on the utilization of resources for social welfare programs in the state.

Amidst growing controversy, the Bharatiya Janata Party leveled serious accusations against the Congress government, alleging the diversion of funds allocated for SC/ST sub-plans to facilitate the fulfillment of the five guarantees. Initially, Social Welfare Minister HC Mahadevappa vehemently refuted these claims, dismissing them as “baseless.” 

International Cricket Stadium for Mysuru to come up at Varakodu, says  Mahadevappa - The Hindu

Source: The Hindu

Nevertheless, the minister eventually acknowledged that an allocation of Rs 11,000 crore from the sub-plans had indeed been earmarked for the implementation of the five guarantees. This admission further fueled debates and raised concerns over the government’s handling of funds intended for marginalized communities and the prioritization of political agendas.

According to Social Welfare Minister HC Mahadevappa, a significant allocation has been made from the SCSP and TSP budgets to support the implementation of the five guarantees, with Rs 7,700 crore and Rs 3,430 crore earmarked, respectively. In an effort to justify this reallocation of funds, the government aims to assess the number of SC/ST beneficiaries who stand to benefit from these guarantees. 

Karnataka Assembly passes Bill to hike SC/ST quota | The News Minute

Source: The News Minute

Mahadevappa, Social Welfare Minister revealed that various departments have been instructed to furnish detailed reports on the estimated count of SC/ST individuals who will avail themselves of the benefits offered by the guarantees. To illustrate the potential complexities in such estimations, the minister referred to the Shakti scheme, providing free bus travel for women. 

He emphasized that the actual number of SC/ST women utilizing the service might vary, and the allocation must accommodate varying levels of usage. With the Congress’ five guarantees projected to incur an annual cost of Rs 52,000 crore, the government faces the challenge of ensuring that these resources are optimally utilized to serve the intended beneficiaries while balancing financial considerations.

Differences Exist In Democracy But...': Siddaramaiah On His Relation With  Shivakumar

Source: ABP News

The implementation of the Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation, and Utilization of Financial Resources) Act has mandated the allocation of 24.1% of the state’s total budget towards SC/ST welfare. According to Social Welfare Minister HC Mahadevappa, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has explicitly instructed that any surplus allocation from the sub-plans for the five guarantees must be promptly returned to the social welfare department. 

With a budget size of Rs 3.28 lakh crore for the year 2023-24, Rs 34,221.49 crore has been set aside for SC/ST development, accounting for 24.1% of the development funds. Additionally, unused funds of Rs 72.70 crore from the previous year have been included in this allocation. Specifically, the SCs are to receive Rs 24,333 crore, while the STs will receive Rs 9,961 crore. 

SCSP/TSP Action Plan for Rs 34,293.69 crore approved in Karnataka- The New  Indian Express

Source: The New Indian Express

In an effort to ensure transparency and accountability, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has requested reports from all departments on the impact of SCSP-TSP funds on beneficiaries. Criticizing the previous BJP government, Mahadevappa stated that Rs 10,000 crore had been diverted from the sub-plans using the “deemed expenditure” clause, which has been eliminated from the current budget under the CM’s direction.

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