Expedite implementation of welfare schemes for Dalits, Adivasis: Cong to Maharashtra govt

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI) The Congress on Friday said it has asked the Maharashtra government to expedite the implementation of various welfare schemes for Dalits, Adivasis and disadvantaged sections, and to enact laws to ensure that the budget for their welfare does not go waste.

The Congress, which is part of the ruling coalition along with the Shiv Sena and the NCP, has also asked for reservation for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) people in government contracts to promote entrepreneurship among them.

The Congress in-charge for Maharashtra, M V Patil, said at a press conference that the party is committed to protect the weaker sections of society, especially Dalits, Adivasi and Other Backward Class (OBC).

'The budget allocation for the development of SC/ST communities should be proportionate to their share in the population. Focus may be on the schemes that benefit SC/ST communities to bring them on par with the rest of society at the earliest and there should be legislative backing to utilise the funds allocated during the same financial year on the lines of Karnataka and undivided Andhra Pradesh,' he said, adding that it has been communicated to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

Patil said the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee organised a state-level conclave of prominent Dalit leaders and stakeholders in which many Dalit leaders expressed their views for furthering the welfare of the oppressed classes.

'The Congress President has conveyed to the Chief Minister of Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Maharashtra to take up these initiatives,' he said.

To stimulate entrepreneurship in SC/ST communities, the party has also sought introduction of reservation in government contracts and projects for enterprises promoted by SC/ST professionals.

'This had been done earlier by the UPA government at the Centre and by the previous Congress-led state government in Karnataka,' he said.

Patil said rapid recruitment drives should be taken up for filling up backlog vacancies in a time-bound manner for posts already reserved for SC/ST in different departments.

As education, technical training and skill development for SC/ST youths is crucial, it should receive the highest priority and scholarship schemes, hostel facilities, particularly residential schools must be expanded for these classes.

Asked about resentment among Dalit leaders in the state, the Congress leader said there was no such thing and every one was working towards furthering the welfare and development of Dalits and the oppressed classes. PTI SKC SMN SMN