COMMITTEE ON THE WELFARE OF
SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TRIBES
(THIRTEENTH LOK SABHA)
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE & EMPOWERMENT
Allocation of Funds by the Planning Commission for the Welfare of
Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes during the 9th Five Year Plan.
Presented to Lok Sabha on 18.12.2001
Laid in Rajya Sabha on 18.12.2001
LOK SABHA SECRETARIAT
December, 2001/ Agrahayana 1923(Saka)
COMPOSITION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE WLEFARE OF SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TIRBES (2001-2002)
Shri Ratilal Kalidas Varma - Chairman
MEMBERS – LOK SABHA
2. Shri Anandrao Vithoba Adsul
3. Shri Mahendra Baitha
4. Shri Padmanava Behera
5. Shri Ananda Mohan Biswas
6. Shri S.K. Bwiswmuthiary
7. Shri Shamsher Singh Dullo
8. Shri Jarbom Gamlin
9. Shri Manikrao Hodlya Gavit
10. Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot
11. Shri Malyala Rajaiah
12. Shrimati Jaskaur Meena
13. Shri Salkhan Murmu
14. Shri Shriram Chauhan
15. Shri Pravin Rashtrapal
16. Shri Baju Ban Riyan
17. Shri Harpal Singh Sathi
18.Sardar Buta Singh
19.Shri Ramji Lal Suman
20. Shri Kailash Meghwal
MEMBERS – RAJYA SABHA
21.Sardar Balwinder Singh Bhundar
22.Dr. Faguni Ram
23.Shri Palden Tsering Gyamtso
24. Shri Kanshi Ram
25. Shri Ram Nath Kovind
26. Shri Nagendra Nath Ojha
27. Shri Raju Bhai Parmar
28. Dr. Alladi P. Rajkumar
29. Shri Shyam Lal
30. Shri R. Kamraj
1. Shri B.R. Kanathia, Joint Secretary
2. Shri K. Jena, Assistant Director
I, the Chairman, Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes having been authorised by the Committee to finalise and submit the Report on their behalf, present this Twenty First Report (Thirteenth Lok Sabha) on the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment – “Allocation of funds by the Planning Commission for the Welfare of SCs and STs during 9th Five Year Plan.”
2. The Committee took evidence of the representatives of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on 6.12.2000. The Committee wish to express their thanks to the officers of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Planning Commission for placing before the Committee the material and information the Committee desired in connection with the examination of the subject.
3. Draft Report was considered and adopted by the Committee on 6th December, 2001.
4. A summary of conclusion/recommendations contained in the Report is appended (Appendix)
RATILAL KALIDAS VARMA
Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
1. The Committee have been informed that the main approach during the Ninth Plan is to build on the successes of Eighth Plan, while tackling the challenges that have emerged particularly in areas such as improving the living standards of the poor, infrastructure, social sector, regional disparity, capital formation in agriculture and fiscal deficit. Further, large disparities exist across various social groups. The disadvantaged groups include members belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes and minorities. In addition, women and children and the physically handicapped and disabled are also vulnerable. For these sections of society planned state intervention is required in order to provide them with adequate opportunities for education and employment in an attempt to involve them productively in the development process and integrate them into the mainstream.
2. The focus of the Ninth Plan is “Growth with Social Justice and Equity” as regards the welfare of SCs and STs, the Ninth Plan commits to
(i) Empowerment of the SCs and STs as the agents of social change for development
(ii) Create an enabling environment i.e. conducive to them to exercise their rights freely enjoy their privilege and lead a life with confidence and dignity
(iii) Adopt a three pronged strategy of social empowerment, economic empowerment and social justice.
(iv) Ensure developmental benefits through equitable distribution and with social justice.
(v) Ensure their participation in the process of planning not merely as beneficiaries but to take part effectively in formulation of need based programmes, their implementation and monitoring.
(vi) Accelerate the ongoing process of improving their socio-economic status and to bring them on par with the rest of the society.
(vii) Improving the educational status of SCs and STs, particularly that of women and children.
(viii) Universalistion of primary education by 2000 A.D.
3. There is a Backward and Tribal Development Division in the Planning Commission headed by an Adviser who deals with the Plan Allocation of SCs and STs. The Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission oversees its functioning through a Member of the Commission and a Principal Adviser for issues related to the development of SCs and STs. There are two members – one belonging to SC who is a Research Officer and one belonging to ST who is a senior Research Officer in the Division.
4. The implementation of special strategies of the Special Component Plan (SCP) for SCs, Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) for STs and the Special Central Assistance (SCA) to SCP and TSP has been receiving special attention since their inception, as these are effective instruments to ensure proportionate flow of funds for SCs and STs from the other general development sectors.
5. Asked whether the Planning Commission have issued any directive to the State Governments regarding the working of state planning Boards, it was replied that the Planning Commission have not issued any directive to the state governments regarding the working of the State Planning Boards.
6. The Committee note that the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission oversees the functioning of the Backward and Tribal Development Division in the Planning Commission through a Member of the Commission and a Principal Advisor for issues related to the development of SCs and STs. But apart from this Backward and Tribal Development Division, Planning Commission have not issued any directive to the State govts. regarding the working of State Planning Boards. Keeping in view the significance of State Planning Boards the Committee would like the Planning Commission should issue directives to the State Planning Board in various states.
7. The Committee have been informed that the Plan schemes are formulated on the basis of a thorough study of all the dimension involved to address the issue. A detailed note is prepared by the concerned programme divisions in a prescribed format defining clearly the title, objective, coverage, target groups, eligibility criterion, norms of financial assistance, requirement of funds for each year of the plan period, implementation agencies and monitoring mechanism. It is circulated to all other Central Ministries/Departments concerned with the subject for their comments. This note together with comments received from other Ministries/Departments is sent to the Planning Commission for their consideration. The proposal, thereafter is considered by a competent authority depending on the cost of the plan scheme. The scheme is, thereafter, formulated and launched in accordance with the recommendations/approval of the competent authority.
8. Asked about the specific role played by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in the formulation of plans, it has been stated in a note furnished to the Committee that the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is concerned with welfare of SCs. It is associated in formulation of the strategy under the Plan as and when the exercise is taken up by the Planning Commission. Apart from pursuing other Central Ministries and State Governments for implementation of the SCP, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment implements a number of specific schemes for welfare of the SCs which are additive in nature. These schemes are broadly of three types, namely schemes for (i) Educational empowerment; (ii) Economic empowerment; and (iii) Social empowerment relating to implementation of special legislations like Protection of Civil Rights Act and SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
9. Ministry of Tribal Affairs further informed that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has a role though limited in the formulation of overall plans for the country. Its role is to provide necessary input in the Working Groups and Sub Groups set up by the Planning Commission in which a representative of Ministry of Tribal Affairs is associated. However, in plan formulation of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the Ministry plays the major role, as it is the administrative Ministry for the purpose for formulating schemes under the Annual Plan and Five Year Plans.
10. Asked whether an assessment regarding the performance of the various plans during the past Five Year Plans has been made before formulating the 9th Five Year Plan, the Committee have been informed that the formulation of any Five Year Plan is made based on the experience of implementation of the various schemes of the previous Five Year Plans. Assessment of the performance of the various schemes, achievements as well as drawbacks and changes deemed necessary for making the scheme more effective are all taken into consideration when a new Five Year Plan is formulated. Performance under various plans is assessed by the Planning Commission.
11. So far as the criteria for fixing the target for the schemes related to the economic upliftment of SCs/STs concerned, it has been stated that the targets are decided based on availability of fund and the amount to be provided per unit. In some of the schemes like Post Matric Scholarship, the schemes are open ended and assistance is provided to all eligible persons. In respect of other schemes, where State share is involved, assistance is provided to State Government submitting proposal indicating their willingness to meet the State share. Targets for assistance to STs for their economic upliftment is based on eligibility norms as applicable to different schemes, as also the allocation of funds for the scheme.
12. The Committee are distressed to note that, as admitted by the Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment and Tribal Affairs, that they have only a limited role in the formulation of overall plans for the country. The Committee feel that these Ministries should not confine them only to a limited role in the formulation of plans, as they are the nodal Ministries and have to play a greater keyrole in the overall development of SCs and STs. Therefore, they cannot say that their role is limited upto pursuing with other central Ministries and state govts. for implementation of different schemes for the welfare of the SCs and STs. The Committee are strongly of the opinion that the programmes formulated for SCs and STs should be mobilized in the right earnest through these Ministries to create a more balanced and equitable society for SCs and STs.
13. The Committee note that both the Ministries at present do not plan the physical and financial targets for different plan schemes annually. They further note that targets are decided on availability of funds and where state share is involved assistance is provided to state govts. submitting proposal indicating their willingness to meet the state share. They would, therefore, like to recommend that the Ministry should plan the financial and physical targets annually in the line with the amount allocated by the Planning Commission for each Five Year Plan before the commencement of the ensuing year.
14. The Committee have been informed that the allocation of resources to the social sector is done mainly on the basis of perceptions of the policy makers and planners to meet the need based demands in this sector within the overall constraints of available resources. There is no standard set of criteria for deciding allocation of funds to programmes, schemes and projects within a sector.
15. Asked to state the basis on which the financial assistance is provided to different projects in the last three years of 9th Plan, it has been replied by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment that the quantum of financial assistance provided under various projects is determined by the Planning Commission. The Ministry formulates various schemes/programmes and finalise outlays in consultation with the Planning Commission, which is the final authority on formulation of Plan. The proposals of the Ministry are made on the basis of the performance in the previous years and the estimation of the expenditure for the particular year.
16. And the Ministry of Tribal Affairs replied that the financial assistance is released to different projects on the basis of the proposals submitted by the concerned State Government or UT Administration. The proposals received from the NGOs are considered on the basis of the recommendation and inspection of the State Government and District Collector.
17. When the Committee enquired as to how it is possible to provide assistance to different schemes without any target and how the achievements could be assessed in the absence of targets, it has been stated that based on available fund as indicated by the Planning Commission, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment formulates various schemes for the assistance of SCs with the objective of providing assistance to maximum number of beneficiaries. It is on the basis of this approach and a rational assessment of the probable expenditure on the basis of the past performance that the Ministry suggests the quantum of financial allocation for its programmes. In addition, in order to ensure that maximum number of beneficiaries is covered, constant monitoring of programmes is done and the matter is reviewed with the States/UTs frequently. Ministry of Tribal Affairs further stated that the physical and financial targets of the scheme being administered are fixed.
18. It has been submitted by the Government in their written note that the most effective instruments which provide a special cushion for these categories in meeting their basic needs is the Special Plan of Action of 1998. In this direction, efforts are being initiated to fill the critical gaps in providing the basic minimum services to those living below the poverty line. These special efforts are expected to ensure that every habitation with concentration of these Groups will have access to potable drinking water, nutrition supplements with both macro and micro nutrients, primary health care services, primary education facilities, sanitation and housing for the shelterless poor.
19. When asked about the number of projects having been assisted and operated under the schemes since 1998, the Ministry has replied that the concept of SCP was introduced in 1979 with a view to providing additional resources for the development of SCs. According to this concept, all the Ministries/Departments of the Central Government are required to formulate special plan/programmes for the welfare of SCs apportioning 15% of their plan fund as SCP. 13 Central Ministries/Departments and 24 states/UTs are implementing the programme of SCP(Annexure-I). In addition to this, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment gives as an additive, fund under SCA to the various States/UTs implementing the SCP. 10% of the funds provided under SCA are meant for establishment of infrastructural facilities that would benefit the SCs.
20. During the last 5 years details of the Budget allocations as well as actual expenditure and achievements under the scheme of boys hostels for STs, girls hostels for STs, Ashram School in Sub Plan Areas, Vocational Training in Tribal areas and Education Complex in Low Literacy Pockets is as given at Annexure-II.
21. The Committee have further been informed that immediate steps will also be taken for the devolution of financial as well as administrative powers to the local self-governments, so that the marginalized groups will also get the opportunities to participate not only in formulating the need-based programmes but also in their effective implementation, supervision and monitoring. This will not only go a long way in empowering these Groups but will also ensure that the implementation of various developmental programmes is carried out in the true sense of cooperative federalism.
22. When the Committee desire to know the details of the various developmental programmes and the quantum of assistance for empowering these marginalized group it has been stated as under:-
“As per the 73rd and 74th Amendment to the Constitution, special reservation for SCs has been provided under the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Self Government Bodies. Functioning of the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Self Government Bodies are coordinated by the Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Urban Development, respectively.”
23. In the context of adopting the special strategy of `Women’s Component Plan’ in the Ninth Plan the Committee have been informed that guidelines of the scheme of SCA to SCP were amended in October, 1998 for earmarking 15% SCA released to a State be utilized for the development of women belonging to SC, 24 States/UTs getting SCA have been requested to ensure this.
24. In this regard Ministry of Tribal Affairs also stated that the scheme of Educational complex in Low Literacy Pockets for Development of Women Literacy in Tribal Areas is exclusively for Tribal girls under which free education, accommodation, food, school uniforms etc. is provided by the Ministry. The scheme of Girls Hostels for ST is also a scheme which benefits to Tribal Girls only. In other schemes also women can take the advantage.
25. The Committee note that the proposals of the Ministry are made on the basis of the performance in the previous years and the estimation of the expenditure for the particular year and the financial assistance is released for different projects on the basis of the projects submitted by the concerned state govts. or UTs administration. It is further observed that as explained by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in their written note that the proposals received from the NGOs are considered on the basis of the recommendation and inspection of the State government and District collector and in order to ensure that maximum number of beneficiaries is covered, constant monitoring of programmes is done and the matter is reviewed with the States/UTs frequently. The Committee, therefore, recommend that the Ministries should review their monitoring mechanism to get adequate finances from the Planning Commission and there should be some fool proof mechanism to monitor the utilization of funds. Defaulter states who do not furnish the progress reports or utilization certificate should be dealt with strongly by the centre. The Ministries have to present a clean picture about proper utilization of funds so as to get the adequate allocation from the planning commission.
26. The Committee also note that special efforts are being initiated for providing the basic minimum services to those living below the poverty line. In this direction 10% of the funds have been provided under SCA for establishment of infrastructural facilities for the benefit of the SCs. The Committee observe that over the years more and more new schemes are being taken up by the State govts./UTs without paying adequate attention towards the maintenance and utilization of the funds for the already existing schemes. If we see data at Annexure II and III there is a great difference between Budget allocation and actual expenditure. The Committee are constrained to note that SCP outlay for the years 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000 was reduced from Rs.7026.92 crore to Rs.4259.11 crore, Rs.8531.58 crore to Rs.6162.01 crore and Rs.10412.20 crore to Rs.6896.47 crore at the SCP expenditure stage respectively. Similarly Actual expenditure has been reduced during the years 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000 as compared to revised estimates in respect of Tribal areas.
The Committee in this context are of the opinion that optimum utilization of the potential created is more important than creating additional potential. They, therefore, strongly recommend that the govt. should gear up and streamline the existing implementing machinery at the field level so as to ensure 100% utilization of available funds.
28. The Committee note that as per the 73rd and 74th amendment to the Constitution, special reservation for SCs has been provided under the Panchayati Raj institution and urban local self Government bodies. But nothing has been mentioned about STs. The Committee would like to be apprised of the position in respect of STs also. Efforts should be made for effective participation of marginalized groups for SCs/STs in formulating the need based programmes and their monitoring.
29. The Committee are of the opinion that guidelines for earmarking 15% SCA
released to a state be utilized for the development of women belonging to SC should be followed strictly and financial assistance should be provided to the NGOs so as to ensure their active involvement in the schemes to accelerate the progress. The Committee, further feel that percentage of allocation for `Women’s Component Plan’ should be increased since slow progress in this sector is due to financial resource constraints.
30. The Committee are of the view that particular emphasis should be given on the States/UTs which have not made much progress. The reasons should be asked from such States/UTs as to what are the hurdles which are coming in the way of progress of schemes, even after providing them funds and efforts should be made to sort out the problems. In case it is felt that even after continuous pursuance of the Central Government much progress has not been achieved by the States/UTs or States/UTs are found to be lacking in the implementation of schemes the same should be highlighted in the Annual Report of the Department.
31. When asked about the pattern of the allocation for state sector schemes. The Committee have been informed that schemes implemented for Welfare of Scheduled Castes which are (I) funded by the State Government on 100% basis; (ii) Central sector schemes which are funded by the State and Central Government on matching basis and (iii) Centrally sponsored schemes which are funded by the State and Central Government on matching basis. The pattern of assistance under that scheme as well as funding pattern is decided as a part of the scheme, as and when any new scheme is introduced the existing scheme is revised.
32. As per the information furnished to the Committee the parameters taken into account for the Special Central Assistance for Scheduled Castes Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan are as under:-
33. Guidelines on Special Central Assistance for SCP for the welfare of SCs were last revised in Oct. 1998. Under these guidelines, the available amount in a particular year is sub-allocated population (40%), Relative Backwardness (10%), No. of SC families covered under composite economic development programme (25%) and size of the Special Component Plan with reference to the total plan (25%). The share of the three programmes under the broad strategy of Tribal Sub Plan, namely, TSP (ITDP), MADA (Pockets) and primitive tribes from the total outlay of Special Central Assistance (SCA) is calculated in proportion to the Scheduled Tribe population covered under each programme.
34. The break-up of allocations with different sub-heads in respect of progress of financial & physical achievements during 9th Plan, furnished to the Committee is as given at Annexure – III & IV.
35. It has been stated that for 200-01, projections of Rs.1414.02 crores were made to the Planning Commission in the Annual Plan Proposals. However, they restricted the allocation to Rs.1350.00 crores. Higher allocation would have enabled this Ministry to assist the states under the sectoral plans more effectively.
36. Asked whether by restricting the allocation to Rs.1350.00 crores, will not the SC/ST be deprived of the benefits which they had been receiving so far and will it not affect the development programmes for SCs/STs, it has been replied by the Ministry that the allocation of funds for the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is done by the Planning Commission which allocates the funds for the various schemes.
37. Ministry of Tribal Affairs also stated that a larger allocation of funds would have helped to increase the tempo of development programmes for SCs/STs. However, by restricting the allocation, STs have not been deprived of the benefits which they had been receiving so far.
38. The Committee note that in the Ninth Five Year Plan the main approach is to build on the successes of 8th Plan, while tackling the challenges that have emerged particularly in areas such as improving the living standard of the poor, infrastructure social sector, regional disparity, capital formation in agriculture. Keeping in view the approach and objectives in the 9th Five Year Plan Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment projected its requirements of funds to the level of Rs.33,358.16 crores on the basis of recommendations of the expert groups. The Committee are concerned about the steep reduction of 9th Plan outlay on the advice of Planning Commission who reduced it to Rs.10,501 crores. It was again twice reduced by them to the level of Rs.6608.13 crores which will affect adversely the development of the socially disadvantaged groups. The Committee feel that reduced plan out lay for the purpose does not suit. Therefore, the Committee strongly feel that the Ministry should take consistent concrete steps to achieve the objective. The Committee further suggest that adequate funds should be allocated to these disadvantaged groups in order to provide them with adequate opportunities for education and employment in an attempt to involve their productivity in the development process and instigate them into the mainstream.
39. The Committee are constrained to note the declining trend in the budget allocations for the various schemes for SCs/STs. They note with concern that the Planning Commission restricted the allocation to Rs. 1350.00 crores against the projection of Rs.1414.02 crores. The Committee strongly feel that by restricting the allocation to Rs.1350.00 crores, SC/ST people would be deprived of the benefits which they had been receiving so far and it also affect the development programmes for SCs/STs. The Annual Plan expenditure for 1998-99 has also come down in comparison to the Budget Estimates for the year 1997-98. The Committee also note that deficiencies have been observed at the time of interaction which relates to implementation of the scheme and inadequacy of the assistance given in certain cases. The Committee suggest that budget allocation for the SCs/STs schemes should be enhanced suitably so that better physical targets could be achieved. They feel that Rs.1350.00 crores allocated for 2000-2001 will be very meager to meet the future challenges. They would therefore like to strongly recommend that the Government should build a strong case before the Planning Commission for enhancing the higher allocation so the Ministry to assist the states under the sectoral plans more effectively.
40. Regarding the criteria for quantification of funds for the general sectors and their inclusion in the special component plan, the Committee have been informed that all the States and UTs are required to provide for SCP for the development of SCs coming within their geographical jurisdiction. AT present, 24 States/UTs having sizeable SC population are formulating and implementing the Special Component Plan (SCP). According to the guidelines, the SCP is expected to be in proportion of the percentage of SC population of the respective States/UT.
41. Ministry of Tribal Affairs also informed that quantification of funds are generally made by the Sectoral Departments of the States and Central Ministries for the tribal sub plan in respect of schemes which are relevant for the welfare and development of Scheduled Tribes. Flow of funds out of State Plan/Central Ministries should be atleast equal to ST population percentage in the State in case of State Plan funds. In case of Central Ministries, flow should be equal to the ST population percentage in the country.
42. Asked whether the flow of funds from the Centre as well as states to SCs and STs is adequate, it has been stated in a note furnished to the Committee, by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs that the State/UTs are expected to provide funds under SCP in proportion to the population of the SCs. Under SCP, the benefits that the SCs draw is supposed to be in addition to what they would enjoy under the general schemes. In addition to the SCP, which is formulated by the States, Ministries/Departments of Central Governments, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment also provides Special Central Assistance (SCA) as an additive to the SCP of the States. At present, 24 States/UTs and 13 Ministries/Departments of the Centre are implementing SCP. (Annexure – V)
43. Ministry of Tribal Affairs also informed that generally, the flow of funds from the Centre as well as States are not strictly according to the guidelines of the Ministry. Notional flow of funds in respect of different schemes and programmes of the State Government should be avoided. In respect of states like Bihar, Orissa it has been reported that percentages of flow of funds are higher than ST population percentages but the accrual of benefits to the tribals are not commensurate to the financial investment made by the States. In this connection, States and Central Governments have been impressed to adopt Maharashtra model which will ensure actual flow of funds to TSP area for the welfare and development of Scheduled Tribes in the States.
44. The reasons for slow progress in the quantification of funds even in the Central Ministries, have been stated that the Central Ministries/Departments are expected to earmark 15% of their budget for SC Development under SCP. At Present, only 13 Ministries/Departments are implementing the SCP. The rest have expressed reservation on the ground that the programmes cannot be separated to provide special assistance/programmes for the SCs.
45. Ministry of Tribal Affairs also informed that Central Ministries/Departments are not identifying the Schemes which are amenable to quantification. Though, guidelines have been issued to create a cell to monitor the Tribal Sub-Plan/programmes by each Central Ministries/Departments, only 19 Ministries/Departments have set up cells so far.
46. The Ministries have also been requested to open separate Budget Head/Sub-Head for SCP to ensure better monitoring of flow of funds to the target groups. In this connection, the Committee have been informed that no separate budget Head/Sub-Head for TSP has been opened by the Ministries/Departments.
47. The Committee note that strategy has been made to give particular emphasis on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Under this strategy the State Governments as well as Central Ministries are supposed to make a plan within their overall plan for Welfare of the SCs (TSP) and Scheduled Castes (SCP). It is, however distressing to note that only 13 Ministries/Departments have formulated the Special Component Plan and 27 Ministries/Departments have expressed their inability to formulate such plan on account of their activities. And so far, no separate budget head/sub-head has been opened for the purpose. Though guidelines have been issued to create a Cell to monitor the TSP/Programmes by each Ministry/Deptt. only 19 Ministries/Deptts. Have set up cell so far. Central Ministries/Deptts. are also not identifying the schemes which are amenable to quantification. The Committee feel that Central Ministries/Deptts. have not taken SCP/TSP for upliftment of SCs/STs seriously. The reason given by the Ministries/Deptts. are equally disturbing. It is astonishing to note that one of the bigger priority plan to provide special assistance/programme for the SCs/STs have been denied by the Central Ministries/Deptts. The Committee feel that Central Ministries/Deptts. have yet to take the SCP/TSP for SCs/STs as the priority programmes. The Committee opine that the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Tribal Affairs being the nodal Ministries for overall policy, planning and co-ordination of development programme have to play a greater and decisive role vis-à-vis other Ministries/Deptts. Therefore, they would like to recommend that Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs should take necessary corrective steps to make these Central Ministries/Deptts. aware of the priority for these programmes and unless earnest action is taken on their part there could not be any sources for the satisfactory implementation the programmes. It is also recommended that the centre should take up the issue with the State Governments/UTs for the flow of funds according to guidelines from the centre as well as States/UTs and come out with some corrective measures for the better implementation of plans. It is further recommend that there should be some full proof mechanism to verify the matching contribution of each State Govts./UTs and Central Ministries/Deptts.
48. The Committee have been informed that according to the concept of Tribal Sub-Plans, funds are pooled from different sources like State plan, Central and Centrally Sponsored Scheme, Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Plan as an additive and also institutional finance.
49. Asked whether adequate financial and administrative powers have been given to executive authorities to avoid shortfalls in the expenditure under Tribal Sub-Plan the Committee have been informed that guidelines have been issued to the States/Union Territories to integrate financial and administrative powers at the ITDP level in the filed in order to monitor the programmes of the line Departments. The States like Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, are effectively implementing the guidelines so that programmes are being implemented in the field effectively. While guidelines have been issued, it is the responsibility of State Governments to implement.
50. The Committee further asked whether suggestions are made to the states regarding administrative machinery, procedural delays etc. to avoid shortfalls in expenditure under Tribal Sub-Plan, it has been replied by the Ministry that State Governments have been informed through letters from Secretary as well as Minister of Tribal Affairs for strict implementation of the programmes in order to avoid shortfall in expenditure under Trial Sub Plan. At the National level, Secretary & Minister of Tribal Affairs impress upon the Senior Officers of the State Governments to utilize the funds released to them during the financial year. Information is sought from the States/UTs through prescribed formats in order to monitor the expenditure under Tribal Sub Plan.
51. The Committee have also been informed that States/UTs Administration are implementing the programmes through their respective line Departments. Efforts are being made by the Sectoral Departments to achieve the targets fixed by them under different Schemes. Under point 11(b) of the 20 Point Programme, the targets fixed and achievements made during last 3 years indicated below:
55. Asked whether any critical evaluation of the Tribal Plan has ever been done, it is informed that the evaluation of tribal development programmes in the states is undertaken by the Tribal Research Institutes located in 14 States/UTs. Under the Scheme of supporting projects of All India nature various on going Central and Centrally Sponsored Schemes which are under implementation for the welfare of development of Scheduled Tribes in the States are evaluated through Non-Governmental Research Organisations, In addition Tribal Research Institutes of the States are also encouraged by the respective State Governments to undertake evaluation studies of various on-going programmes.
52. The Committee have been informed that a Comprehensive Tribal Policy will be formulated during the 9th Plan with a special focus on the primitive tribes and displaced tribes and their rehabilitation. Asked whether the Government have so far prepared blueprint on the proposed Comprehensive Tribal Policy, it has been stated that a comprehensive Tribal Policy is under formulation.
53. Regarding the deficiencies observed at the time of interaction and the remedies suggested by the Ministry, the Committee have been informed that these deficiencies relates to implementation of the scheme and indequacy of the assistance given in certain cases. As regards implementation of the scheme steps are taken for rectifying the position in consultation with the State Government. Provision of adequate assistance is taken up by revision of the scheme, subject to availability of resources, in consultation with the Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance.
54. In this regard following major deficiencies observed:-
(i) Quantification of funds under TSP by States/UTs is generally much lower that the ST population percentage of State/UT concerned.
(ii) In several States, TSP strategy is interpreted as an area approach and hence heavy emphasis is placed on infrastructure development without corresponding co-relation to the development of Scheduled Tribes, which results in exaggerated and notional flow to TSP.
(iii) Quantification under TSP is presently made under the general plan of different Departments of the States/UTs as a percentage of the total outlay without carefully looking into the relevance of the schemes/programmes to tribal areas and without proper assessment of the likely flow of physical benefits to the target group.
(iv) Special Central Assistance (SCA) is utilized in areas where already specific Central Sector/Centrally sponsored schemes are being implemented, for supporting equity base of State corporations like Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations, Forest Development Corporations or for non-plan activities.
(v) SCA is allocated to various Departments at the State level often as a substitute for State Plan efforts.
(vi) SCA is utilized for creation of infrastructure in areas which should normally be covered under the minimum needs programme of State or under Centrally Sponsored Schemes for the purpose.
(vii) Non-submission/delayed submission of progress reports on implementation of various schemes and Utilisation Certificates in respect of Central assistance has been released.
(viii) Delay in submission of complete proposals for release of funds by the Central Government under various schemes.
The remedies suggested by the Ministry are as follows:
(i) Every State/UT should ensure that TSP outlay is in proportion to its ST population percentage.
(ii) Funds ear-marked under TSP should be utilized only for such schemes/programmes would result in direct benefit to STs in ensuring fulfillment of their developmental needs, which include provision of basic needs, such as drinking water, rural electricity, tribal areas, schools, health centres in STs villages, infrastructure link roads to growth centres to tribal areas, provision of credit facilities, setting up of effective public distribution system, implementation of small and minor irrigation projects and ground water development for the benefit of small and marginal farmers etc.
(iii) Adopting the Maharashtra model in terms of which the Planning Department of the State allocates a definite outlay for the TSP and the responsibility to finalise the TSP entrusted to the Tribal Welfare Department who would communicate the break up of the outlay to the concerned administrative Departments.
(iv) Special Central Assistance should be utilized basically for family oriented income generating schemes in sectors like agriculture, horticulture, minor irrigation, soil conservation, animal husbandry, forest, education, cooperatives, fisheries and village and small industries, etc. and infrastructural development incidental thereto. Detailed guidelines issued by the Central Government in regard to utlization of SCA should be followed by the State/UT.
(v) States/UTs should ensure timely submission of periodical reports regarding progress of implementation of schemes.
(vi) Utilisation Certificates in respect of amounts released earlier under various schemes should be submitted in time.
(vii) Proposal for financial assistance complete in all respects should be submitted to the Ministry during the early part of the financial year, so that funds for implementation of various schemes could be released well in time.
55. The Committee have further been informed that the Planning Commission in Report No. 3 of 1999(Civil)Chapter – IV- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment concerning Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan have made the following critical observations:-
(i) The 20 State Governments and Union Territories Administrations reported utilisation of only Rs. 1546 crore out of Rs. 1809 crore released by the Ministry during 1992-1998. A large part was either retained in various deposit accounts or was spent for purposes other than the intended purpose of providing of providing additive to States Tribal Sub-Plan.
(ii) The physical performance reported by State Governments were inconsistent with the expenditure.
(iii) Many State Governments did not contribute their share of funds under the Tribal Sub-Plan and instead used the funds received from the Union Government towards SCA isolation.
(iv) The State Governments retained large balances at the end of each financial year. On its part, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment also constrained the State Governments by releasing large amounts at the fag end of the year.
(v) The Ministry and the State Governments did not carry out evaluation to ascertain due extent to which the objectives of economic upliftment of the Scheduled Tribes for crossing the poverty line and protection against their exploitation were achieved. The Ministry was unable to monitor and guide the programme with a view to ensuring achievement of the stated objectives and released the funds to the State Government as a matter of routine.
(vi) The funds were misused for assistance to ineligible persons, purchase of vehicles and consumable durables, discretionary medical assistance, purchasing teaching aids for school, meeting administrative expenditure, helicopter hire charges, construction of building and houses, reimbursement of loss. Sustained by Tribal Development Corporations, preferences for infrastructure related expenditure rather than family oriented income generation schemes. Ministry did not take any action against the erroring states in spite of these shortcomings in the implementation of scheme and continued to release funds to the state governments.
(vii) The SCA funds were not duly utilised by many States/UT Governments large upspent balances, in same cases ranging above 50%.
(viii) The SCA funds should be released to implementing agencies i.e. Integrated Tribal Development Authority by the State Governments within a month from the receipt of SCA funds unders intimation to the Ministry. But there has been cases where delays of upto 30 months in release of SCA funds by the State Governments were noticed.
(ix) Release of short funds by the State Governments to the implementing agencies.
(x) The Assam Tribal Development Authority spent Rs. 4.03 Crore towards purchase of teaching aids for educational institution having 50 percent or more ST students. Which was earmarked for family oriented income generations schemes for ST population below poverty line. It was further disclosed that the purchase was against Government sanction of Rs. 1.50 Crore only. Proper procedure for the purchase was not followed and quotations were called without mention of the specific items. Such purchases are required to be investigated and responsibility fixed.
(xi) Some state governments paid Rs. 8.53 crore during 1993-94 to 1997-98 as share capital to different corporations without prior approval of the Ministry in violation of Government of India guidelines.
(xii) The progress of the implementation and utilisation of the scheme were to be watched, through Quarterly Progress Report to be submitted by the State Governments within 15 days after the end of each quarter and Annual Progress Report to be submitted by 15th May each year eight out of 18 state governments did not furnish the quarterly report to the Ministry at all while nine state governments furnished these reports partially. The Ministry took no action to obtain wanting reports from the defaulting states.
56. When the Committee desired to know what corrective measures have been taken by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on the above observations they have stated that the manner of utlisation of SCAs has been discussed in various meeting convened by this Ministry with the state level officers. Efforts are being made to overcome the shortfalls while implementing in tribal areas.
57. The Committee note that arrangements to review implementation of various schemes has been made at various levels both in the Centre and the State. However, the Committee are not happy with the explanation of the Government that it is the responsibility of State Governments to implement. The Committee are of strong view that all the reports of deficiencies in implementation/misutilisation of TSP funds should be investigated by the Central Government itself as it is felt that the ultimate accountability of the TSP Funds lies with the Centre. The Committee also recommend that a Central Vigilance body should be created with jurisdiction over the other implementing bodies to oversee the actual implementation of the TSPs schemes. The Committee also note that State/UTs are implementing the programmes through their respective line Departments. But the Committee note with concern the slow progress made by the States/UTs in implementation scheme so far. In fact the achievements for the year 1999-2000 are poor in comparison to the achievements made during the year 1998-1999. As a result, both physical and financial targets for 1998-99 have come down in comparison to the targets of 1999-2000. Therefore, the Committee are of the view that all out efforts should be made to achieve the targets. The Committee are also of the view that more fund should be allotted for this plan.
58. The Committee are not satisfied with the slow progress in the preparation of blueprint of the proposed Comprehensive Tribal Policy which is evident by the fact that the Government is not serious in this regard. In view of the Committee, if the pace of the formulation of the policy remains the same, the Government will not be in a position to give a special focus on the primitive tribes and displaced Tribes and their rehabilitation in the 9th Five Year Plan period also. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommend that policy should be prepared at the earliest.
59. The Committee are extremely disappointed to note the observations of the Planning Commission in Report No. 3 of 1999 (Civil) Chapter – IV Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment concerning Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan. The position as given by the Planning Commission is quite alarming. The Committee are deeply concerned about the observations like accumulation of huge amount of allocated money and their diversion. Amount was spent for purposes other than the intended purpose of providing additive to State Tribal Sub-Plan. Similarly inconsistent physical performance with the expenditure, non-contribution of Funds of the States, releases of large amount at the fag end of the year by the Central Government as well as States, non-evaluation of the progress by the Central Government as well as the states, diversion of funds, short release of allocated funds, non-submission of quarterly and Annual Progress Report by the States/UTs, misutilisation of funds, large unspent balance. In view of the above scenario, the Committee recommend that Central Government as well as State/UT Governments should take immediate steps to rectify these shortcomings with a view to make the schemes more result oriented, and the monitoring should be strengthened. Monitoring cell exclusively for SCs and STs should be set up in the Planning Commission as well as in Prime Minister office to monitor the progress of the schemes meant for SCs and STs.
60. The Committee note that no action has been taken by the Centre against the defaulting states in spite of fact that they have not fulfilled the desired norms as per the guidelines like misutilisation or diversion of funds, not furnishing quarterly and Annual Progress Report. They feel that this is an undesirable practice which provides a ground for the State/UT Govts. for diversion of fund to other accounts and misutilisation of fund. This is a gross injustice to the poorer section of the society for which the schemes have been launched. The Committee emphasis and strongly recommend that the funds allocated for different programmes/schemes meant for the upliftment of poor section of society should be utilised in those specific programmes/schemes for which they are meant to achieve the desired result. It is recommend that Central Government should issue some full-proof guidelines in this regard so that the practice of diversion of funds is stopped. The Committee would also like to recommend that stringent action should be taken against the State Govts./UT Admn. who have diverted the funds meant for specific SCs/STs development schemes to other purposes. Further, necessary amendments in the guidelines should be carried on and issued to concerned state Union Territory administration for strict compliance.
62. The Committee also note that the delay in releasing the state share and reporting of utilisation, ultimately, delay releasing of subsequent instalment by the Central Government which in the other way affects the implementation of the programme. They would like to recommend that the Centre should take up these issues with the State Govts./UT Admns. and enforcing out some corrective measures for the better implementations of the programme. It is also recommended that there should be some full-proof mechanism to verify the matching contribution by each of the State Govt./UT. The guidelines in this respect should be suitably modified.
63. The concept of SCP was introduced in 1979 with a view to providing additional resources and to formalise allocation of services in proportion to the population of SCs in the States/UTs. Simulataneously, the Central Ministries/Departments were also expected to earmark 15% of their Plan fund for the development of SCs. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment also implemented a special scheme for providing SCA as an additive to the Special Component Plan of States/UTs for the benefit of SCs. Subsequently, Central Public Sector Undertakings, namely NSFDC and NSKFDC were constituted for providing institutional finance at concessional rate of interest. While the NSFDC provides loan assistance to SCs and STs. NSKFDC was set up for assisting the Safai Karamcharis exclusively.
64. The strategy of SCP is sound, implementation of SCP of Central Ministries and Departments is monitored by the tripartite committee set up by the Planning Commission as well as the National Commission for SCs and STs. As regards States and UTs are concerned, 24 of them are implementing the SCP. With a view to energizing the States and UTs to streamline the implementation of the programme, the Special Component Plan of these States/UTs was reviewed in November and December, 2000. During the review meeting, the States were instructed to formulate special projects, which can be synergised with loans from NSFDC to fill the gaps in the assistance for the economic development of the SCs. These measures are expected to assist the SC families in a better manner.
65. The Committee have been informed that under the new strategy a combination of the three instruments namely (1) Special Component Plan for States/UTs and Central Ministries, (2) Special Central Assistance to Special Component Plan for States/UTs and (3) Scheduled Castes Development Corporations in the States/UTs and share capital assistance to states/UTs for these corporations has been announced for the development of Scheduled Castes. The break-up of the funds spent on above mentioned three schemes for rapid socio-economic development of Scheduled Castes during the last three years of 9th Five Year Plan is as under:-
66. The Committee were further informed that 13 Ministries/Departments have formulated the Special Component Plan and 27 Ministries/Departments have expressed their inability to formulate such plan on account of their activities, which are not divisible and beneficiary oriented.
67. In reply to a question, the Committee have been informed that SCA may now be utilized for infrastructure development of programmes in villages with 50% or more Scheduled Caste population, where infrastructure facilities for overall development of Scheduled Castes are lacking. Only 10% of the total SCA released to the State/UT in a year should be utilized for infrastructure development programmes in the villages having 50% or more Scheduled Caste population. Regarding the details of the beneficiaries and the quantum of assistance during the last three years of 9th Five Year Plan, following information has been provided to the Committee. The amount of assistance released to 24 States/UTs during the last three years is as follows :-
Period Quantum of SCA Released
1997-98 308,27 crores
!998-99 361,00 crores
1999-2000 437,00 crores
68. This amount is utilized for assisting beneficiaries as well as creation of infrastructure. Details of no. of beneficiaries assisted during a particular year is maintained by the concerned State/UT Government.
69. The Committee note that SCP was introduced in 1979 with a view to providing additional resources and to formalize allocation of services in proportion to the population of SCs in the States/UTs. Simultaneously, the Central Ministries/Deptts. were also expected to earmark 15% of their plan fund for the development of SCs. The Committee are constrained to note the declining trend in the SCP outlay during the 9th Plan. The SCP expenditure for 1999-2000 has also come down in comparison to the SCP outlay for the year 1998-99. The Committee are also concerned to note the non-satisfactory performance in respect of utilisation of SCP fund during the last three years. It is astoniishing to note that one of the bigger priority programme for rapid socio-economic development of SCs has not been given priority by the State Governments/UTs. Administrations. The Committee feel that States/UTs are yet to take the programme for SCs as the priority programme. They would like to recommend that centre should take necessary corrective steps to make the State Governments/UTs aware of the priority for this programme. Unless earnest action is taken on their part there could not be any sources for the satisfactory implementation of the programme. They are critical of the unsatisfactory performance of the States/UTs in fully utilising the outlay and recommend that in future, the outlay meant for the SCP be fully spent by stepping up the efficiency levels. It is also urged that the centre should chalk out a time schedule in consultation with the respective State Governments/UT Admns. by which the entire accumulated unspent amount could be utilised for that particular scheme.
70. The Committee also note that the strategy of Special Component Plan at the Central Government level involve participation of Central Government Ministries/Departments in formulating specific plans for the Scheduled Castes under Annual Plans of respective Ministries/Departments. In this context 13 Ministries/Departments have formulated the Special Component Plan and 27 Ministries/Departments have expressed their inability to formulate such plan. The Committee opine that the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment being the nodal ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of development programme has to play a greater role vis-à-vis other Ministries/Departments. The Committee, therefore, recommend that the Ministry should prevail upon the other concerned Ministries/Departments to formulate need based programme to suit the specific areas and earmark 15% of their plan fund for the development of Scheduled Castes.
71. The Committee note that the Ministry as acknowledged in the written note do not have information regarding flow of funds from JRY of EAS to SCP and similarly flow of funds from IRDP is not available. The Committee would, like the Ministry to ensure that nothing should be taken casually at the expense of the poor people. The Committee, therefore, desire that the information should be made available to the Committee to justify the above statement provided to the Committee.
72. The Committee are further distressed to note that the Ministry could not make available details of the beneficiaries as well as creation of infrastructure during the last three years 9th Five Year Plan. It has been stated details of number of beneficiaries assisted during a particular year to maintained by the concerned State/UT Govts. They take serious view of it and strongly recommend that the Government should analyse the position of beneficiaries and infrastructure created under the scheme and consider providing an inbuilt mechanism for the purpose. Keeping in view the fact that the scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme, necessary guidelines in this regard should be issued to State Govts./UT Admns. and the Committee be apprised accordingly.