India Intelligence Report

   Budgetary Quota Plan



  • Group of Ministers suggest budgetary quota to help SC/STs

  • Minister wants to provide basic facilities only for villages with SC/ST majority

  • Initiative may not be Constitutional

A sub-group of Ministers on financial controls have agreed to propose to the Federal Government is considering a proposal that will create a budgetary quota of 22.5% for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) welfare. Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee is reportedly the Chairperson of this sub-group and that Federal Fertilizers, Chemicals and Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan wanted a 22.5% quota for the SC/ST in the budget.

Paswan discussed this issue with The Pioneer and insisted that “The recommendation is in consonance with the spirit of the Government's objective behind setting up the Committee of Ministers on Dalit Affairs. There was total consensus on the matter in the meeting held.” Paswan, who chairs the sub-group of Ministers on the basic amenities for SC/STs in the rural and urban areas, said "Our sub-group of Ministers recently decided to develop all villages with 50 per cent SC/ST population as the Prime Minister's Model Villages. Every such village (sic) will have all the basic facilities." Per Paswan, there are 38,000 villages in India where the population of SC/ST is up to 50%.

It is commendable that the Federal Government wants to create basic amenities for these villages and we need more such initiatives for India to become a major power by 2050. However, it is perplexing how they can differentiate poverty of peoples based on caste and how they can create such unequal distribution of wealth.

The Constitution of India does not allow for discrimination on any basis. Therefore, it is likely that this initiative will be struck down by the courts.