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Insufficient Allocation for SC/ST Welfare in Budget, Say Rajya Sabha Members

Image for representation

Image for representation

Several members of the Upper House said that the budget allocation was insufficient and an injustice to the SC and ST communities.

New Delhi: Members in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday raised the issue of "insufficient" budget allocation for welfare of SC/ST communities.

Participating in the debate on the Union Budget 2020-21, Narendra Jadhav (Nominated) said, "Provision for welfare of SC/STs should have been higher as budget has only Rs 83,257 crore allocation for them which is barely 2.35 per cent higher than the previous budget and given the inflation the hike is nil".

Abdul Wahab (IUML) said "injustice" has been meted out to minorities who have been totally ignored in the budget and added that devaluation of the rupee was another major concern.

Amee Yajnik (Cong) said 5,000 high networth individuals have left the country. She alleged that the Skill India initiative has completely failed while six crore micro industries have closed down and the government was providing "fudged data" of development.

Md Ali Khan (Cong) said under the present regime regional governments have weakened. K J Alphons (BJP) said the budget is holistic and initiatives by the present government have led to enrolment of 93 per cent of girls at primary level, 83 per cent at high school level and 53 per cent at higher secondary level.

Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa highlighted that share of the farm sector in the country's economy has come down to 13.9 per cent now from 30 per cent in 1990.

He said the youth of agrarian states like Punjab are more interested in going abroad than doing farming. Bajwa demanded that the government support the farm sector so that it grows at over 15 per cent for the next 8 to 10 years from the present 2.5 per cent.

Farming activities of farmers with up to five acres of lands should be included in the rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA, he demanded.

He also demanded crop support price for maize for diversification and a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal for dealing with the issue of stubble burning.

He also asked for release of the Rs 31,000 crore pending allocation to Punjab. Another Congress member M V Rajeev Gowda alleged that the Centre has reduced budget allocations for its flagship

programmes especially for health and education for the next fiscal as compared to budget estimates for this fiscal.

Congress member Sayed Nasir Hussain and BJP members Gopal Narayan Singh, Ajay Pratap Sigh and G V L Narasimha Rao also participated in the debate.

first published:February 11, 2020, 16:07 IST