State stares at tough job

The state government on Friday admitted that while the AP Scheduled Castes and Tribal sub-plan is a big achievement, its implementation was bound to be tough task due to lack of proper infrastructure.
In a candid talk with this newspaper, Deputy CM Damodar Raja Narasimha said, “It (the Bill) is a big achievement, but you will be surprised there is no infrastructure to implement the massive funds. We will have to create the needed infrastructure soon.”

Mr Raja Narasimha said the government has to utilise about Rs 2,800 crore under SC sub-plan and Rs 700 crore under the ST sub-plan by March 2013. It is a Herculean task, he said.

“Thanks to the legislation, the funds will not be diverted nor would they lapse. The unspent amount will be carried forward,” he added.

He said the government would focus on women and child welfare, education, health and other priority sector for utilisation of the massive funds earmarked for SCs and STs.

When asked about TRS’ claim that about Rs 25,000 crore, earmarked for SC and ST welfare, had been diverted, he said he did not have the data off hand. However, Mr Raja Narasimha added, “Of course there has been some diversion, but most funds lapsed due to failure to utilise them.”

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