Union Budget 2021 | Spending up on schemes for Scheduled Castes

Allocation for schemes for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes by all Ministries went up by over 50% in the Budget 2021-2022 compared to the previous year, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot said on Monday.

Mr. Gehlot said the allocation had increased by 51.65%, from ₹83,256.62 crore in 2020-2021 to ₹1,26,259.20 crore in 2021-2022. This, he said, proved the government’s mantra of “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas” was working.

In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC students had been revamped. “I have also enhanced the Central assistance in this regard. We are allotting ₹35,219 crore for six years till 2025-2026, to benefit 4 crore SC students,” she said.

The Cabinet had approved the restructuring of the scheme in December 2020. The scheme earlier operated on a committed liability model, but now the Centre and the States would have a fixed share of expenditure of 60% and 40% respectively.

The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry was allocated ₹11,689.39 crore for 2021-2022, of which ₹10517.62 crore was for the Department of SJ&E and ₹1171.77 crore for the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).

The DEPwD’s expenditure budget saw a decrease from the previous year’s BE of ₹1,325.39 crore, though the actual expenditure as per the RE for 2020-2021 was ₹900 crore. Support to national institutes was reduced from ₹360 crore in BE 2020-2021 to ₹319 crore for 2021-2022, according to the Budget documents. The National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation and Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre received no allocation in the Budget. Overall, social security and welfare saw a cut from ₹1,126.7 crore in BE 2020-2021 to ₹988.59 crore for 2021-2022.

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