Activists and former bureaucrats working on Dalit issues Saturday demanded that two sub-plans for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes be passed as legislation to help in uplifting the marginalised groups.
"We want the centre to introduce this bill in parliament and pass it as an act. Money earmarked under these two plans does not reach the people belonging to SC and ST communities," P.S. Krishna, a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer said.
Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) Schedule Tribe Sub Plan (STSP) were introduced in 1980 during the Sixth Five Year Plan.
The guidelines of these schemes mention that the states have to allocate a certain amount for the plans in its budget every year. The fund is made available to the states by the central government.
Andhra Pradesh, in January, became the first state in the country to give statutory status to the SC, ST sub-plans.
"Money under these schemes is earmarked for SC and ST however states divert the money every year. Rubberised roads, statutes and jails are built from the money which is exclusively for Dalits," said Paul Diwakar, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights', convenor.
"There is need for a national level legislation. The government must make Schedule Caste Sub Plan and Scheduled Tribe Sub Plan as an act. The states will be bound to spend the money for Dalits," he added.
"Andhra Pradesh has made this plan as an act and we want the central government to also bring this legislation," he added.
The activists were talking on the occasion of interactive session on the SC and ST sub-plans.