Of its total development plan of Rs 77,184 crore, the state government has allocated Rs 13,985 crore — 18 per cent — to sub-plans for the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories.
While the special component sub-plan for SCs is Rs 7,231 crore, for the STs it is Rs 6,754 crore. In the last budget for the year 2016-17, allocations for SCs were at Rs 6,725 crore and for STs at Rs 5,357 crore, which means an enhanced allocation of Rs 1,903 crore (13.6 per cent). Of this, while the raise for the SC category is 7 per cent, that for ST welfare schemes is 20 per cent.
To tackle malnourishment in tribal areas and to improve the health of pregnant women, lactating mothers and children between the ages of 7 months and 6 years, Dr Abdul Kalam Amrut Ahaar Yojna has been started. The scope of this programme has been widened to provide benefit to 1.17 lakh women and 7.16 children.
Among various allocations for women and children welfare proposed in the budget are Rs 1884.99 crore for the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Anudhan Yojna and Shravan Bal Seva Rajya Nivritti Yojna. Under the housing for all scheme, 55,000 houses will be constructed for Scheduled Castes under the Ramayi Awas Yojna, for which Rs 800 crore has been provided. Also, those who do not have houses or land of their own will get support under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Bhukhand Kharedi Yojna.
Under the Prime Minister Awas Yojna (rural), of the total 1,88,000 houses, 50 per cent will be constructed for Dalits and tribals and 15 per cent for the minorities category. The amount would be directly credited to the beneficiary’s bank account.
To promote Dalit/tribal entrepreneurship, the state is working on the Stand Up India project on the lines of the Centre. It has provided Rs 25 crore for this project, which would be majorly funded by the Centre.
According to Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce India (DICCI) chairman Milind Kamble, “The Centre-state’s initiative will work towards economic empowerment of the weaker sections. The financial and logistic support from the government through special allocations, and linkages with financial institutions, will help in developing entrepreneurship among the Dalits and tribals.”
The government has also constituted a separate OBC department to pursue Dalit, Tribal and OBC welfare schemes from April 1, 2017. An amount of Rs 2,384 crore has been earmarked for 2017-18 for various programmes.