Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Home Minister Admitted funds for SC/ST Used for Infrastructure Development

Union home minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday admitted in the Rajya Sabha that the Delhi government had erred in diverting funds earmarked for SCs/STs to develop infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games.

Chidambaram made the remark while replying to questions raised in the Upper House over the diversion of over Rs 678 crore from the funds which were to be used for programmes for SCs/STs.

‘‘In my view, prima facie, using Rs 678.91 crore out of Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) to contribute for CWG appears to be wrong,’’ home minister P Chidambaram said.

Responding to demands made by MPs, he said this money spent from the SCSP would be brought back to the welfare fund. The minister at the same time maintained that the fund is given to states under two categories divisible and indivisible and the diversion of the fund from indivisible category has been happening in many states.

The minister said the Planning Commission was aware of the matter. Chidambaram said the Planning Commission has constituted a committee headed by one of its members, Narendra Jadhav, to re-examine how the guidelines of the Plan panel on the SCSP Tribal Sub Plan can be implemented properly.

Last Thursday, the government had admitted that over Rs 670 crore meant for SC welfare projects were diverted by the Delhi government for Commonwealth Games, triggering protests in the Rajya Sabha from BJP, BSP and Left.

Between 2006-07 and the current fiscal, out of Rs 7,062.76 crore (under indivisible funds), Rs 678.91 crore was given for the Games projects, Chidambaram had said in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.