P. S. Krishnan, an outstanding champion of the deprived social categories of Indian society, stressed the need for bringing out a national legislation for the Special Component Plan (SCP) for Scheduled Castes and the Tribal sub-Plan (TSP).
Delivering inaugural address at the National Workshop on Enactment of SCP for SCs and TSP at national level, organized by Centre for Dali Studies (CDS) and Samajika Samarasatha Vediak (SSV) at Osmania University premises in Hyderabad, he said that such legislation should automatically cover all states and UTs. He also said that such legislation should provide greater transparency and defines rights more clearly than executive orders do.
Recalling that during his administrative career he had the privilege of conceptualizing, designing and initiating the SCP as one of the important and significant offerings, dedicated to the Dalits, the former union secretary said if the SCP and TSP had been formulated in the manner envisaged and in the manner required by the Constitutional mandate, the SCs and STs would have made much more progress than t hey have made in their journey towards equality. Unfortunately, he deplored that after the initial enthusiasm and spurt, the SCP and TSP were converted into a mere arithmetical-statistical exercise, showing notional and imaginary figures of allocation which have no relationship with the measures required for the advancement of the SCs.
He recalled that this came to prominent national notice on account of the Commonwealth Games scam in which hundred of crores of rupees of the SCP was shown as part of the expenditure on stadiums and flyovers and other games infrastructure, justified on the specious plea that SCs also use the flyovers and stadiums. He suggested to set apart an outlay not less than the SC and ST population equivalent percentage out of the total Central Plan and State Plans of each State before the total outlay is distributed Ministry-wise/Department-wise/Secotr-wise as the corpus of the SCP and TSP.
Krishnan suggests including in the SCP and TSP only such schemes which directly and exclusively benefit SC or, as the case may be ST, individuals, families, groups, habitations and institutions. He also advised to create special dedicated structures of devoted experts, at Central as well as State levels and district level, for formulation of the SCP and TSP and to secure their proper implementation, utilizing not only the official machinery but also actively associating the SC and ST elected representatives in Panchayats and Municipalities and devoted grassroots NGOs, activists and experts.
He also said to provide special attention to identified specially vulnerable groups among SCs, who include children, women, manual scavengers/safai karmacharis and communities from which manual scavengers are traditionally drawn, nomadic, semi-nomadic and vimukta jati communities, and Primitive Tribal Groups among STs and ST women and children.
According to him, a meaningful SCP and STP should provide agricultural land of a viable extent to all rural landless SC families, including families with unviable extents of land, restoration of STs of originally Tribal lands now in the possession or occupation of others, besides restoration and protection of traditional access to common resources and natural resources in tribal areas.
Other priorities should be irrigation, residential schools of high quality, coaching schemes of high quality, scholarships to all SC and ST boys and girls, schemes to promote higher education, provision of house-sites and adequate houses, civic amenities, connectivity's for habitations, health care facilities, total liberation and rehabilitation of bonded labourers and manual scavengers, he added.
Stating that we should not missed 2015-16 Budget, Krishnan said that he had written to the finance minister requesting him to provide SCP and TSP outlays in formulation of budget to fulfill the momentous commitments made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the run-up to the Elections to the 16th Lok Sabha. He said that the Budget can provide without waiting for the legislation and the legislation can be enacted if possible before the Budget or, at the earliest after the Budget.
Appreciating the well-oriented efforts of Dalit social workers of Andhra Pradesh with the support of all political parties, he said it has resulted in pioneering the country's first legislation titled AP Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Act, 2013. He said this is an important step forward. However, he pointed out there are certain negative provisions in the Act which need to be corrected through amendments as early as possible.
Similarly, he said Karnataka also enacted its legislation. In both these Acts, he deplored the name SCSP has to be changed into the name that was prevailing all through except during the latter part of Dr. Manmohan Singh's tenure, names Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes (SCP). "What SCs require is a Plan and not a sub-Plan", he said. Similarly, he suggested that TSP should be renamed as Scheduled Tribes' Plan or Special Component Plan for Scheduled Tribes.
Retired IAS from Madhya Pradesh cadre I Sundara Rao said that the need of the hour is not economic development, but social development and development of human resources. He cautioned that such negligence will not harm not only dalits and marginalized sections, but the entire country. Deploring over absence of implementation of various enactment, he asked why no one is being punished for violating rule of reservation, submitting fake caste certificates and diversion of sub-plan funds.
Former Karnataka Social Welfare Minister Narayana Swamy deplored that besides enacting a legislation in his state, funds are being monitor by the finance ministry and social welfare ministry's role being responsible for utilization of funds remain spectator. Stating that Dalits cann't competes with global human rice in the present corporate education era, he said Navodaya School should be set up at every taluka for their empowerment.
RSS national boudhik pramukh Bhagaiah said that India has not derived concepts of equality, liberty and fraternity from French revolution, but became part of the society since ages. For Indians, he said there can't be equality and liberty without fraternity. Asserting that problems of Scheduled Castes are not concerned to them alone, but to the entire society, he said that we have to work out for integrated development of these sections on the basis of fraternity.