TS Assembly Creates History, Passes SC&ST Special Development Fund Bill
Hyderabad: Telangana Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe Special Development Fund (Planning, Allocation and Utilization of Financial Resources) Bill, 2017, has been passed by Telangana State Assembly on Friday. It is a historic day for Telangana since it is the first state in the country to enact such a progressive legislation for the development and welfare of the Dalits and Adivasis.
Even the old Act was made in the undivided Andhra Pradesh as a result of an all-inclusive movement during the tenure of Kiran Kumar Reddy. Then it was emulated by Karnataka government. The present Bill after becoming an Act will be a model for other States and the Centre to follow if the ruling parties are sincere about doing something for the development of Dalits and Adviasis. Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has to take it up immediately.
This much awaited Bill replacing Sub-Plans for SCs and STs Act has been prepared after detailed discussions with the stakeholders and the officials. Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari and founder of Centre for Dalit Studies and Special Officer for Buddhavanam Project, Mallepalli Laxmaiah, were among the persons whom Chief Mininster K Chandrashekhar Rao has consulted on regular basis.
This will pave way for availability of more funds for these sections, including a provision to “carry forward” the unspent funds to next financial year also.
The Key points in the Bill are:
- The Ten year limit has been removed from the Act. (An Act to ensure, accelerated development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with emphasis on achieving equality in the next ten years focusing on economic development)
- The habitation will be identified as SC/ST habitation where population of SC or ST is not less than 40% of the total population of the habitation.
- If the funds have not been spent in the financial year, the remainder of the budget will be carried forward to the next financial year, with the legal terms by compensating.
- There would be a strict monitoring body to oversee the expenditure of the funds
- Every three months, there would be a review at district to state level to monitor the progress of the funds and the schemes.