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Share for tribal welfare in the Budget has formed 5.49% of the plan budget 2014-15.

New Delhi: July 12, 2014: 

Government is committed to the welfare of SC and ST communities for their overwhelming support; the government has hiked the allocation to the SC Plan and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) this budget 2014-15.

As against Rs. 41,561 crore in 2013-14, the government has allocated  Rs. 50,548 crore for the SC plan and Rs. 31,387 crore for TSP as against Rs. 24,598 crore last year.

"The government is committed to the welfare of the SCs and STs," finance minister Arun Jaitely said while presenting the Union budget in Parliament on Thursday. .

To provide credit enhancement facility for young start-up entrepreneurs from the SC community, who aspire to be part of the neo-middle class, Jaitely said a sum of Rs. 200 crore will be allocated through a scheme by Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI). For the welfare of tribals, the government has announced the "Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana" with an initial allocation of Rs. 100 crore.

Budget allocations for ST communities were Rs. 21,710 crore in 2012-13 and 24,598 crore last year. Initial allocation of Rs. 100 crore under “Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana” is being launched for additional endorsement to welfare of ST communities.

The Government has introduced “Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana” of Rs 100 crore to develop social and civil infrastructure and sustainable create employment opportunities in tribal areas. This is being launched for additional endorsement to welfare of ST communities to replicate Gujarat's “Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna”. Under the project, the income level of tribal families would be doubled in five years through introducing robust infrastructure development and creation of ample job opportunities.

Tribal people of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and other states expressed their dissatisfaction over the proposals made for tribal development. They said, "The government doesn't seem to be concerned about the tribals and its main focus is on urban development."

Despite the increase in the amount of the plan budget of Rs.5, 75,000 the share of TSP in the Budget has formed 5.49%. Tribals constitute 8.08% of the total population of the country and cover about 15% of the country’s area. Scheduled Tribes are spread across the country mainly in forest and hilly regions. The fact that tribal people need special attention can be observed from their low social, economic and participatory indicators. Whether it is maternal and child mortality, size of agricultural holdings or access to drinking water and electricity, tribal communities lag far behind the general population. .

According to the data of The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the 1991 Census figures reveal that 42.02 percent of the Scheduled Tribes populations were main workers of whom 54.50 percent were cultivators and 32.69 per cent agricultural laborers. Thus, about 87 percent of the main workers from these communities were engaged in primary sector activities. The literacy rate of Scheduled Tribes is around 29.60 percent, as against the national average of 52 percent. More than three-quarters of Scheduled Tribes women are illiterate. These disparities are compounded by higher dropout rates in formal education resulting in disproportionately low representation in higher education. Not surprisingly, the cumulative effect has been that the proportion of Scheduled Tribes below the poverty line is substantially higher than the national average. The estimate of poverty made by Planning Commission for the year 1993-94 shows that 51.92 percent rural and 41.4 percent urban Scheduled Tribes were still living below the poverty line.

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