Hyderabad: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman and Lok Sabha MP, Mr PL Punia, has said that the successive governments in the States and Centre were not utilizing the funds under Special Component Plan which was renamed as SC Component Plan. The funds which were meant for the welfare of Scheduled Castes were being diverting to other purposes, he added.
Mr Punia visited Gandhi Bhavan on the invitation of the PCC. The PCC SC Department organized a program and honored Mr Punia.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Punia said that even Andhra Pradesh government had diverted the SC Component Plan funds to the Outer Ring Road (ORR) works, beautification of Hussain Sagar and State Aids Control Board and added that the NCSC had asked the State government to return the funds and it did. He said that even the Delhi State government spent SC Component Plan funds of Rs 744 crores for Commonwealth Games arguing that the works would benefit the SCs. In Uttar Pradesh, about Rs 1,500 crores of SC Component Plan were diverted for construction of Medical Colleges, he said, adding that in both cases, the NCSC asked those governments to return the money and they did. In 1979, then Indira Gandhi government had introduced the Special Component Plan for welfare of the SCs according to Article 338 of the Constitution following the proposal made earlier by Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar for protection of the interests of the SCs.
Mr Punia said that the UPA government has agreed for compulsory education to the SCs, particularly to the children of ‘Safai Karmacharis’ from first class to Intermediate with hostel facilities. He said that the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr Kapil Sibal, assured to implement the proposal. He said that he has addressed a letter to the Prime Minister and concerned departments in this regard and got positive response from them. He said that he was responding immediately to the complaints of atrocities against the SCs and visiting them to address their problems. He said that he was also responding to the news telecasts and news stories in the newspapers regarding atrocities against the SCs. He advised the local leaders to spend at least 10 minutes with the SCs every day to know their problems.
Recalling services of late Dr YSR, Mr Punia said that the UPA-II government had formed just because of Andhra Pradesh Congress Party and added that the State has sent 33 Congress MPs. He said that Dr YSR had introduced many schemes for the development of SCs and died while going to participate in a program which could be benefited to the SCs.
The former minister and PCC official spokesperson, Ms Pushpaleela, brought to the notice of the NCSC Chairman that the governments have to increase the percentage of reservation keeping in view of increased population of SCs.
The PCC SC Department Chairman, Mr A Krishna, Mr Kailash, Mr G Niranjan, Mr Anand Bhaskar, Ms Neeraja Reddy also spoke. Mr Krishna and many others submitted memoranda pertaining to welfare of the Scheduled Caste community. (NSS)