Dalit activists call Budget 2018 ‘anti Dalit-anti Adivasi’

Photo of the press conference organised by NCDHR

Dalit Arthik Adikar Andolan and National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights say Budget 2018 has denied ₹1,14,717 crore to Dalits and ₹54,676 crore to tribals

“This budget is anti-Dalits and anti-Adivasi. We feel like we are not citizens of this country. If economic justice is not done to dalits and tribals then how can it be good for this country,” said Paul Divakar, secretary of Dalit Arthik Adikar Andolan and National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights.

Watch Paul Divakar’s conversation with National Herald:

The organisations are putting up a tough fight for Dalit economic rights by enforcing provisions of the Special Component Plan (SCP) for Dalits and Tribal Sub Plan for adivasis, which make 16.6% and 8.6% of total plan outlay of the budget to be compulsorily spent on them, respectively.

According to analysis done by these organisations, Budget 2018-19 has allocated only 6.55% percentage towards welfare of Dalits, and this is short by 10.5% of total Budget expenditure. Similarly Budget 2018-19 has allocated only 4.53% towards welfare of tribals which is short by 4.07%. Accordingly, they say, Budget 2018 has denied ₹1,14,717 crore to Dalits and ₹54,676 crore to adivasis. The biggest irony, they say, is this that out of even this allocation there is so much diversion and misuse of the funds, that the allocated funds are not going to benefit SC and ST. Only 31 out of 279 schemes meant for SC and 52 out of 305 meant for ST are appropriate and accessible.

Tribal activist Abhay Xaxa described the budget as a “doom-doom budget”. “Out of 305 schemes for ST, I found only 8 meaningful schemes, rest all is rubbish. From this the major component ST got is in form of Sarv-Shiksha Abhiyan, from which we as tribals can get something. But see the second allocation on construction of highways and Char Dham connectivity under the TSP, plus the allocation from TSP for defence service optical fibre. This is a fraud.”

Dalit women rights Activist and Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan activist Beena Pallical told that this budget is anti-Dalit women. “Only ₹650 crore has been allocated for us.”

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