HYDERABAD: Here is the big challenge! Spend `7,000 crore in just 46 days. This is not akin to the challenge that Tamil superstar Rajinikanth faced in his blockbuster movie Arunachalam released in the late 90s. This is all about the State government’s budget performance with regard to welfare of Scheduled Castes. Though the State government had ambitious plans for the development of SCs and allocated 16.32 per cent of the total Pragathi Paddu (expenditure on welfare schemes) in the 2017-18 budget, the spending is not up to the mark. The total Pragathi Paddu is `8,038.80 crore. Out of which the State allocated `14,375.13 crore for the development of Scheduled Castes under SC Sub-Plan.
The spending of the allotted amount up to end of January was just `6,689 crore, a mere 47 per cent of the total allocations in the first 10 months of the Budget. The government has to spend more than `7,000 crore in the next 46 days, which is next to impossible if one goes by the monthly average spending on SC development of `668 crore.
“We have spent `6,689 crore till January end against the total allocation of `14,375.3 crore,” admitted SC development minister G Jagadish Reddy. He said that they had allocated 16.32 per cent funds for SCs in the Pragathi Paddu. However, analysts wonder how can the government spend around Rs 7,000 crore in 46 days. They say that at least 40 per cent of the funds allocated for the development of SCs would be lapsed this year. However, the minister claimed that Telangana state was a role model in spending for SC welfare in the country.
The entire data on spending under SC Development Fund was given to all the MLAs and MLCs in the state. Though the data was given to legislators two months back, nobody bothered to look into the spending details. Opposition MLAs were no exception.The same is the case with spending on the welfare of Scheduled Tribes. The outlay for ST Development Fund is `8,165.87 crore, i.e., 9.27 per cent of the total Pragathi Paddu. The implementation of schemes like distribution of three-acre land and construction of 2BHK houses has not fully taken place.