People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 06

February 10, 2013


CPI(M) Submits Memo to Finance Minister on SCSP


On the eve of budget session of the parliament, a delegation of the CPI(M)  led by Basudev Acharia, leader of CPI(M) group in the Lok Sabha met the finance minister P Chidambaram on  February 7, 2013.

 The delegation submitted a memorandum urging allocation of Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan funds as per the guidelines stipulated by the government of India.  To implement this, the delegation proposed that the government should provide statutory status to the SCSP by enacting a central law on the lines of the recent law enacted by the Andhra Pradesh state assembly. The finance minister assured that he will look into the issues concerning the SCSP allocations. 

The other members of the delegation were V Srinivasa Rao, member of the central secretariat of the CPI(M) and G Mamatha, member of the Committee on SC Affairs of the CPI(M).

The following is the text of the memorandum.


WE bring to your notice with grave concern the fact that the central government is not making the stipulated allocations for the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan. Even in the budget for the year 2012-13, it had allocated just 7 %, against the mandated 16.2 % for SC Sub Plan. This goes against the guidelines of the Government of India of making allocations at least in proportion to the population of dalits. And even the meager allocations that are made, are not spent. There are reports that the shortfall in the SCSP this year may be up to Rs 26,000 crores. There are attempts to devise shortcuts to make up for the shortfall by including the expenditure that does not benefit SCs directly under the SCSP, like the expenditure purported to be shown under MGNREGA and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana programme.

Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) is a crucial initiative in closing the development gap between the Scheduled Castes and the others. Therefore, the government must provide statutory backing to the SCSP by enacting a suitable legislation to ensure its effective implementation.

A look at the over-all status of the Schedules Castes, even after 65 years of independence, gives us the picture why there is urgency in bringing in a legislation for the effective implementation of the SCSP.

Differences in Development Indicators between

SCs and other Social Groups




All groups

Literacy (%)



Malnutrition among Women (BMI<18.5) (%)



Underweight Children (%)



Pucca Housing (%)



No Toilet Facility (%)



Electricity for Domestic use (%)



IMR ( per 1000 live birth)



U5MR ( per 1000 live birth)

Under 5 mortality rate



Child Immunisation (%)



Incidence of Poverty (Rural)



Incidence of Poverty (Urban)




Source: India – Human Development Report 2011: Towards Social Inclusion, Institute of Applied Manpower Research, Planning Commission


SCs continue to be landless and assetless. In 2009-10, only about one third of SC households owned some assets. Only 11% of SC rural households owned private enterprises, when compared to 54.5% of others. The SCs also lag behind in access to civic amenities. In 68% rural and 38% urban areas, the SC localities do not have proper drinking water facilities, compared with 49% and 20% for others. Access to higher education is also low – enrolment rate being 10 % compared with 25% for the others and the dropout rate is very high.


Thus, in terms of access to assets, land, private enterprises, employment, education, drinking water, sanitation and housing etc, SCs suffer deprivation and consequently deeper levels of poverty. Added to this, SCs at many places continue to suffer untouchability, discrimination and caste based atrocities.


We therefore, request that in the forthcoming budget 2013-14, at least 16.2% of the Plan outlays be allocated to the SCSP and measures must be taken to make it non-divertible and non-lapsable by ensuring a statutory status to it.


In Andhra Pradesh, as a result of the sustained movement, the state government has enacted a legislation providing statutory status to the SCSP. This is a first of its kind in our country. All though, it has some loopholes, it is a welcome legislation. The central government should enact such legislation, with provisions to do away with the existing loopholes.


The government has introduced a policy of affirmative action in procurement. But, there is an unwritten policy against sanctioning loans to dalit applicants. Credit disbursements to dalit entrepreneurs had dropped by 33.8% in the last financial year, according to data released by the RBI. Unless the private enterprises owned by dalits are made profitable by providing them loans and marketing facilities, the said policy will not deliver the intended benefits.


There is government apathy in filling up the backlog vacancies for the SCs. The ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions headed by the prime minister himself, has said that the government's success rate in filling the backlog posts for SC, ST and OBCs has been less than 30 per cent. Of a total backlog of 76,137 vacancies in various ministries, departments and public sector enterprises, the government could fill up just 26,472 in an exercise spread over three years as part of the special recruitment drive. The government must make earnest efforts to fill up all the backlog posts for the SCs. The government must speed up the process to ensure reservation in promotions for SC, STs.

There is an alarming increase in the atrocities and attacks on SCs in the country. The conviction rate is abysmal. Dalits face many hurdles to even get the cases registered. In such a situation, there is an urgent need to amend the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, in order to plug the loopholes and strengthen it further to ensure social justice.


We therefore urge the government to implement the following measures: