Telangana Budget 2021-22: Harish Rao says state is committed to the welfare of SCs, STs

The state government allocated Rs 1000 cr towards the ‘CM Dalit Empowerment Programme’.
Budget for 2021-2021 financial year
Budget for 2021-2021 financial year
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The Telangana government on Thursday presented the state Budget. It proposed a total expenditure of Rs 2,30,825.96 crore for the financial year 2021-22. The Budget which was presented by the state Finance Minister Harish Rao had provisions to further welfare schemes meant for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).

The state government also announced the ‘CM Dalit Empowerment Programme’, with an allocation of Rs 1000 crore.

The minister said that the state government under the leadership of CM K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) is committed to the welfare and progress of SC, ST sections, and stated that it is the only state to have introduced a Special Development Fund Act, where funds will be allocated specifically in the Budget, which will be used for SC, ST development.

Minister Harish Rao while referring to Dr Ambedkar's belief that one should not neglect the knowledge that comes through education, said that the state government is taking measures for the same by setting up more Special Residential Schools for SC, ST children, and providing them with world-class education and training.

According to the minister, the number of SC residential schools increased to 268  from 134 and ST residential schools increased to 133 from 96. While Rs 898 crore was spent in 2021 on SC schools, around Rs 529.60 crore was spent on ST schools.

Special Law Colleges for SC, ST students were established under the Social Welfare and Tribal Welfare departments supervision and as much as Rs 107.8 crore were spent on 623 SC students for overseas education, while Rs 27.78 crores were spent on 180 ST students.

The minister said that the number of seats in medical and engineering institutions that SC, ST students from the residential schools had bagged had also increased drastically.  While 189 SC, ST students from the Telangana Residential Schools got admissions in MBBS and BDS seats, 170 SC, ST students got admission in IIT and JEE seats 

To further implement the welfare schemes for SC, STs, Rs 21,306.85 crore in funds has been allocated for SCs Development Fund and Rs 12,304.23 crore to the STs Development fund in Budget estimates 2021-22.

To support SC, ST entrepreneurs, Harish Rao announced the TS PRIDE scheme. Through this, the government will provide loans at 25 paise interest rates and provide power supply at subsidised rates. Subsidy in the loans for women entrepreneurs from SC, ST sections was increased to 45% from 35%, along with 100% exemption in sales tax. From 2014, till now the government gave Rs 1919 crore of subsidies to 39,590 units under SC, ST sanctions.

The Finance Minister said Rs 165 crore grants will be provided for BT roads in tribal settlements, which do not have the facility, and Rs 18 crore is proposed to provide subsidised power to ST households in Budget estimates for 2021-22. Along with this Rs 103 crore of funds will be used to provide power supply for Tribal Agricultural lands that lie away from the villages and where electrification is not provided. 

The minister said that the fund allocations in Telangana Budget 2021-22 have been done on the basis of the proportion of the said communities in the population, as well as taking their needs into consideration.

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