New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) Allocation for all ministries for welfare of scheduled castes has been increased in the Budget by 51.65 per cent from around Rs 83,256 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 1,26,259 crore in 2021-22, a senior official said.
Secretary, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, R Subrahmanyam also said that 31 schemes which were being implemented till 2020-21 have been restructured into 19 schemes to bring greater focus on core issues.
'The allocation for welfare of scheduled castes (SCs) for all ministries has been increased by 51.65 per cent from around Rs 83,256 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 1,26,259 crore in 2021-22,' he said while speaking to the media on the key highlights of the budget for the social justice and empowerment sector.
Subrahmanyam said enhanced allocation for benefit of SCs has been made in the Support for National Programme of Mid Day Meal in Schools scheme (addition of Rs 2,305 crore), the Jal Jeevan Mission/National Rural Drinking Water Programme (addition of Rs 11,002 crore) and the MGNREGA-Programme Component (addition of Rs 9,310 crore).
Allocation has also been increased in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY)- Rural (addition of Rs 4,875 crore), the NRLM-Programme Component (addition of Rs 3,419 crore), the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (addition of Rs 1,232 crore), the Total-Urea Subsidy (addition of Rs 5,211 crore) and the Total-Nutrient Based Subsidy (addition of Rs 1,723 crore), he said.
Subramanyam added that allocation of central government funds in Post-Matric Scholarship for SCs has been raised by five times to benefit students from the poorest households. 'Central share would be released on Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode into the bank account of students to avoid delays,' he said.
The secretary said the Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhyuday Yojana (PM-AJAY) has been created after merger of three schemes with a target of comprehensive development of 3,500 SC majority villages in 2021-22 to benefit six lakh beneficiaries.
'An allocation of Rs 1,800 crore has been made for PM-AJAY in the new financial year,' he said. Subramanyam said that a new scheme, Pradhan Mantri Welfare Scheme for DNTs for Economic Empowerment of Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNT, NT and SNTs) with a budgetary allocation of Rs 50 crore will be implemented in the new fiscal.
'The objective is to provide financial assistance for health insurance, coaching of good quality, livelihoods initiative and construction of houses for DNT, NT and SNTs. A total of 1.82 lakh DNT, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities would be benefited under this,' he said.
He said the Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE) is a new scheme made after merger of schemes for beggars and transgenders.
'The budgetary outlay is Rs 70 crore. The intended objective is to cover the welfare measures for both transgender persons and persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, education, skill development etc with the support of state governments/UTs/local urban bodies, voluntary organisations, community-based organisations and other institutions,' he said.
'It is estimated that an approximate 60,000 poorest persons would be benefited under this scheme for leading a life of dignity,' Subramanyam said.
He said special schemes would be launched under the Senior Citizen Welfare Fund (SCWF) for assisting start-ups in the space of silver economy promoting innovative products and processes for the welfare of the elderly.
Apart from this, CSR funds would be encouraged to invest in promoting the silver economy, he said.
'Rs 50 crore has been allocated from the SCWF for 2021-22. Along with this the National Helpline for Senior Citizens 'Elderline' would be launched this year which will reach every elder person in distress for resolution of the problem,” Subramanyam said.
The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, which caters to the welfare of the backward classes and those with disabilities, was allocated Rs 11,689.39 crore, a 28.35 per cent increase over the previous financial year's revised amount. PTI UZM ANB ANB ANB