'Government yet to release funds for caste enumeration'
By M Venkatesh | ENS | Published: 13th September 2013 08:04 AM |
It is Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s pet project. Yet, the government headed by him is yet to release funds for the first-ever caste-based survey to be held in the state.
Chairman of the Karnataka Permanent Backward Classes Commission N Shankarappa told Express that the commission has already worked out modalities and methodologies to be adopted for the proposed caste census.
“We are waiting for the government’s nod to go ahead,” Shankarappa said.
Siddaramaiah has been consistently maintaining the need for a caste-based census before allotment of resources are made. He is of the opinion that such a survey will enable the government to make equitable distribution of various benefits.
Shankarappa echoed him, “The caste-wise census will throw up the exact socio-economic status of each and every community in the State and their numbers.”
The net expenditure involved in undertaking the caste census is expected to touch Rs 117 crore.
But the panel chairman said so far only Rs 1 crore has been released for the purpose.
“This amount was released in 2005 when Siddaramaiah was the deputy chief minister,” he added.
The state budget for 2013-14, presented by Siddaramaiah, mentions the caste-based census, but has not made any allocation.
Siddaramaiah has merely said, “The process would begin soon.”
Shankarappa said the Centre has released Rs 7 crore for the purpose, against its promise of Rs 21 crore. “Once the panel launches its caste census, the Centre may release the remaining amount,” he added.
An estimated 1.25 lakh government staff, most of them teachers, are required to conduct the census.
Shankarappa said, “We need to spend about
Rs 80 crore to Rs 90 crore towards the payment of honorarium to the enumerators and rest to meet the expenditure of other logistic overheads and stationary.”
Maintaining that the census data will prove a crucial statistics to re-draw the socio-economic conditions of the people living in the state, the panel chief said, “It will also help to know whether the targeted beneficiaries really have access to the benefits of reservation.”
Shankarappa said that during the census it is also proposed to generate data on annual income, domestic expenditure, household data, occupation of household members, qualification, access to drinking water and power, moveable and immovable assets and access to sanitation facilities.