Dy CM admits of SC, ST funds diversion

Deputy Chief Minister C Damodar Raja Narasimha on Monday admitted that the State Government has diverted Rs 1400-1500 crore meant for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

Briefing the media about the discussions that took place in the meeting of Cabinet Sub-Committee on SC, ST sub-plan at his chambers in the State Secretariat, the Deputy Chief Minister said that Rs 1400-1500 crore were diverted for other purposed in the last three years. However, he assured that the gap would be filled soon.

Raja Narasimha said that the Cabinet Sub-Committee has also decided to hold wide spread consultations with various stake holders on the SC, ST sub-plan. The meetings with various departments would be held every Monday to elicit their opinion on the issue. Further, consultations would also be held with recognised groups of SCs and STs and the NGOs. Workshops on SC, ST sub-plan will also be conducted in all the districts. However, he said workshops in election-bound districts would be held after getting approval from the Election Commission.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the Cabinet Sub-Committee would also convene an all-party meeting to get their opinion and suggestions on the subject.

The Cabinet Sub-Committee would conduct meetings with the officials of SC and ST welfare departments to study the pattern of utilisation of welfare funds. He said preference would be given to spending in Education Department while giving priority to SC, ST schools, hostels and other infrastructure.

Raja Narasimha said that the Cabinet Sub-Committee would submit its report to the State Government in the next 45-55 days.

The meeting was attended by Ministers – Anam Ramnarayan Reddy (Finance), P Satyanarayana (Social Welfare), K Sailajanath (Primary Education), Erasu Pratap Reddy (Law), D Manikya Varaprasad (Rural Development) , Dr J Geetha Reddy (Major Industries), Basvaraj Saraiah (BC Weflare) and P Balraj (ST Welfare). (INN)