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Opposition seeks more teeth to SC, ST Bill

Hyderabad, Dec 1 : Opposition Parties have demanded that the proposed SC,ST Sub-Plan Bill 2012 should be equipped with more powers to make it more effective and the present from will not benefit the target groups as it gives scope for manipulations.

TDP President, N Chandrababu Naidu, speaking at Nizamabad during his padayatra, demanded that the main points to be included in the Bills are, a ban on diversion of funds, provision to carry forward the unspent funds to the next year, funds should be spent according to the categorisation of SCs in proportion to the population making local bodies partners in the process and appointing an Ombudsman to resolve disputes. He alleged that the Congress Government has no sincerity in welfare of the weaker sections as it has flouted many of the norms.

The time-frame of 10 years should be lifted and kept open-ended as the process will take a longer time, he said.

In the Assembly M Narasimhulu (TDP) said, the Bill in the present form does not benefit Dalits and Tribals but will only enrich contractors and middlemen. Some of the provisions to this effect should be deleted he said and demanded that the Government should give the details of the funds diverted with the data comprising the amount and the heads to which it was re-allotted.

T Harish Rao (TRS) said the Bill should have a provision to plough back the funds diverted in phases and suggested that the Government should follow the Karnataka model in providing more funds to education sector. He also suggested the concept of Ombudsman and strengthening the review system and a finance secretariat exclusively for SC, STs. The funds flow should be placed on the public domain to give transparency to the exercise, he said.

Even minorities are neglected and allocation is very meager, he said.

Lambasting the Congress for its lack of sincerity, he said five committees were formed to look after the welfare of SCs and STs from the Chief Minister to Mandal Officer level but the meetings were few and far between.

Other Parties also echoed the same feelings and wanted the Bill to have provisions to strengthen the intent and plug loose ends.

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