Himachal government taking right measures to uplift weaker sections of society
The sole aim of all the policies and programmes of the State Government include the welfare of the poor and the downtrodden and improve the socio-economic status of the weaker sections of the society. The Himachal Pradesh is on the right track as the state Government is implementing several schemes for the welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. About 33 percent of the total State Budget is being spent on the Social Services Sector.
The State Government is providing a grant of Rs. 75,000 to homeless people belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward classes, whose annual income is less than Rs. 17,000 and have land in their name in revenue record for constructing a house. Earlier, an amount of Rs. 48,500 was provided for construction of house to the eligible person. A provision of Rs. 1740.54 lakh has been made under this scheme during the current financial year 2013-14.
The Government is also providing Rs 10 lakh each for creating infrastructural facilities in Harijan Bastis under the Mukhya Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna, in villages having more than 40 per cent Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population. Under this scheme, two villages were being selected in every assembly constituency of the State, except four Vidhan Sabha segments of Solan and Sirmaur district and Shimla
With an objective to provide better career opportunities to the candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other Backward Classes in private and Government sector, the State Government is also providing computer training to them. A new scheme has been launched for the candidates of BPL families amongst Scheduled Castes having annual income less than Rs 60,000. Under the scheme, a provision has been made to provide training in computer applications.
The Government is bearing the training cost of Rs.1200 per month per candidate and providing a stipend of Rs 1000 per month during the course of training and are also ensuring that after successful completion of the training, the candidates are placed for six months in various Government offices for gaining proficiency. During this period, a sum of Rs. 1500 is provided to them as stipend.
The Government is well aware of the hardships being faced by people living in tribal areas, a budgetary provision of Rs 369 crore had been made for the year 2013-14 under the Tribal Area Sub Plan, which is 11 percent more than the previous year allocation. A total sum of Rs. 764 crore has been earmarked in the budget, which include plan as well as non plan allocations.
With a view to eradicate the evil of untouchablity from the society, the State Government is leaving no stone unturned for encouraging inter-caste marriages. A cash award of Rs 50,000 is being provided to the couples opting inter-caste marriage. Earlier, a sum of Rs, 25,000 was being given under this scheme. A sum of Rs 62.19 lakh has been earmarked in the budget to promote such marriages during this fiscal year.
Scheduled Castes Development Corporation is working for welfare and development of the Scheduled Castes communities. The Corporation is providing soft loans at a low interest rate of 4 to 7 percent, with the active cooperation of major banks. A budget allocation of Rs. 745 lakh has been made under this scheme during the current financial year.