The tussle between the Ministry of Social Justice and NITI Aayog over monitoring of Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) has finally ended with the intervention of PMO which asked the former to take up the responsibility.
Similarly, the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) will be monitored by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Under SCSP and TSP, every Central ministry or department is required to allocate funds for the welfare of dalits and tribals.
Last May, the NITI Aayog had expressed its inability to monitor and review the implementation of the plans citing "lack of mandate" and staff crunch.
"The Ministry of Social Justice, which is the nodal agency for the development and welfare of the dalits, reverted saying it will not be able to monitor the implementation of the plan either, as it is understaffed," an official said.
A series of letters were exchanged and several meetings were held between the officials from the ministries and the NITI Aayog.
"However, with no one willing to take up the responsibility, no solution could be reached. The matter was taken up with the Prime Minister's Office and a high-level meeting chaired by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister was held to discuss the issue," the official added.
Finally, on January 27, the Cabinet Secretariat issued an order, assigning the responsibility to the ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment, and to the Tribal Affairs.
Both the ministries will develop a monitoring structure based on the framework designed by the NITI Aayog.
Before the NITI Aayog, the Planning Commission used to issue guidelines to states, Union Territories, central ministries and departments and also monitor SCSP and TSP.
In 2015, the Planning Commission was replaced with the NITI Aayog.
After the formation of the Niti Aayog, the allocation of funds and budgetary support for planning of SCSP and TSP had been transferred to the Ministry of Finance. However, the monitoring part remained with the Aayog.