Congress chief P L Punia, the previous chairperson of the Nationwide Fee for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), has accused the Centre of diverting funds from the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) beneath the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), pointing to Bihar throughout three fiscals for example of the identical.
Punia was referring to the disbursal of Rs 2421.94 crore from the monetary years 2018-2019, 20-19-20 and 2020-2021 – a interval during which solely 78 homes for SC beneficiaries and 54 homes for ST beneficiaries had been constructed, whereas the remainder of the funds had been diverted to homes for “others” and minorities.
As per the PMAY portal beneath the Union Rural Improvement Ministry, the development of no home had been sanctioned in Bihar in 2018-19, whereas the Centre disbursing Rs 1,354.80 crore for the monetary 12 months beneath the SCSP technique.
In 2019-20, a complete of 39 out of 61 homes sanctioned for SC beneficiaries had been constructed. On this fiscal, the Centre disbursed Rs 749.40 crore beneath the SCSP scheme, whereas the development of 12,85,854 homes beneath “others” and 1,89,785 homes for minorities had been sanctioned.
In 2020-21, 39 out of 61 homes sanctioned for SC beneficiaries had been constructed, whereas Rs 39.59 crore was disbursed. Throughout this fiscal, the development of two,25,696 homes had been sanctioned for “others”, whereas the corresponding quantity for minorities was 29,653 homes.
For these three monetary years, a cumulative sum of Rs 278.14 crore was disbursed, whereas 54 out of 150 sanctioned homes had been constructed for tribals beneath TSP.
A Rural Improvement Ministry letter issued on October 17, 2019 to pay and accounts officers clearly states: “It’s reiterated that whereas allocating targets to districts, state ought to observe the method prescribed by the ministry. It’s clarified that earmarked targets for SC/ ST and minority can’t be diverted to common class. Solely SC and ST targets may be interchanged if there are ample justifications.”
Talking to The Indian Categorical, Punia mentioned: “As per Planning Fee tips, neither the state nor the Central authorities can change the plan head of SCSP and TSP. Solely Parliament has powers to take action. We surprise how the Centre had been diluting such guidelines.”
Requested about the identical, Bihar Rural Improvement Division Principal Secretary Arvind Choudhary mentioned, “As we had constructed a great variety of SC/ST homes since 2014, our precedence checklist (60 per cent for SC/STs) had been exhausted.”
Nevertheless, Punia famous that after the precedence checklist is exhausted, a state authorities has to tell the Centre and the disbursal beneath the SCSP and TSP funds needs to be stopped instantly. “However this fund can’t be diverted to the ‘others’ class beneath any situation,” he mentioned.
The Congress chief added, “It is vitally unhappy that the Centre has carried out away with ideas of SCSP and TSP, operating since 1976 and 1980 respectively… The Centre has now been solely placing up a listing saying they’ve carried out work for SCs and STs… The change of fund head is a serious difficulty. We’re going to elevate the matter in Parliament quickly.”
Requested in regards to the “diversion” in SC/ST funds, as alleged by Punia, Choudhary mentioned: “It can’t be known as diversion. We used it with the Cenre’s permission.”
In keeping with Delhi-based RTI activist Rajeev Kumar, Ministry of Rural Improvement Deputy Director Common (Rural Housing) Gaya Prasad has said that as a precept, the plan head of SC or ST fund can’t be modified. “Solely Parliament can change it, that too after a cupboard notice,” he mentioned.
When requested about Punia’s objections, Union Rural Improvement Secretary Nagendra Nath Sinha informed The Indian Categorical: “In Bihar’s case, its chief secretary had written to us about its precedence checklist of SC/ ST beneficiaries getting exhausted.”
Requested in regards to the Planning Fee tips and the ministry’s 2019 letter, Sinha mentioned, “These tips are for broad perspective. Funds are regulated from our finish.”
Beneath the PMAY (Gramin) scheme, the identification of beneficiaries was based mostly on the Socio-Financial and Caste Census (SECC 2011) knowledge. A complete 27,48,163 houseless households, together with 2,85,709 eligible SC/ST households, had been recognized by the Bihar authorities, of which 26,78,748 homes have been sanctioned, with 2,75,880 beneficiary households belonging to the SC and ST communities.
Beneath the PMAY(G) scheme, the development of 17,73,055 homes has been accomplished, of which 2,23,443 homes are for SC/ST beneficiaries (81 per cent of the sanctioned homes for SC/ST households).