BENGALURU: Government officials in-charge of implementing various schemes under former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's pet project — Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Sub-Plan Act — could land in jail if they neglect their duties. The rules and regulations for effective implementation of SC/ST Sub-Plan Act have finally taken shape under H D Kumaraswamy's government. The regulations chart out penalties and incentives for officials on the basis of effective implementation of the schemes earmarked under the sub-plan. While officials will be commended for their good performance and effective implementation, any official found willfully neglecting duties is liable for disciplinary action which could extend to imprisonment up to six months.
A day after the budget for 2018-19 was passed by both houses of the state legislature, the Social Welfare Department has come out with the modalities on how to go about implementing the sub-plan with a total allocation of `29,209.47 crore. "There are funds, there are schemes chalked out already ... but what is lacking is the will. We need to ensure that the schemes are implemented at the panchayat-level and these regulations will ensure that," Minister for Social Welfare Priyank Kharge said.
Apart from the State Council for Development of SCs/STs led by the CM that will meet twice a year, a nodal agency will be set up headed by Priyank. The nodal agency will maintain transparency in expenditure, review the implementation of the schemes, evaluate and appraise schemes proposed for SC/ST sub-plan by various departments, identify impediments and come up with solutions.
"Many schemes to be implemented have already been identified and we have requested departments to identify the rest in two weeks. Once the Council under the CM is re-established, implementation of schemes will begin," Priyank said. The Finance Department will have an exclusive cell only to carry out functions related to budget and allocation for the sub-plan. Schemes exclusively benefiting SCs/STs individuals or households and habitations will have 100% allocation under the sub-plan fund while general social sector schemes like education, health, women and child welfare and labour will be funded in proportion to the population.
Selection of SCs/STs habitations will depend on the density of the community's population in a locality with above 75%, above 50% up to 75% and below 50% as criteria. Any unspent amount will be carried forward to the next financial year with a compulsion that it has to be spent within that year. The intended beneficiaries will be invited to apply for schemes. The eligibility will be verified after which a list of beneficiaries will be published at the village panchayat levels. The list will be presented before a selection committee for final phase-wise selection. Annual reports will be submitted to the Legislative houses on the progress, expenditure and impact of the schemes.