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Feb 17, 2021

Union Budget 2021-22: Key announcements for welfare of SCs and STs

In our series on Union Budget 2021-22, today we bring you key announcements for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Budget allocation of over 7 thousand 524 Crore rupees for the year 2021-22 is the highest ever for the Tribal Affairs Ministry. The annual outlay in Financial Year 2021-22 of Department of Social Justice and Empowerment is 28 per cent higher than the revised annual outlay in Financial Year 2020-21.

In her Budget Speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, Government has set a target of establishing 750 Eklavya model residential schools in the tribal areas and proposed to increase the unit cost of each such school from 20 crores to 38 crores and for hilly and difficult areas to 48 crores. She said, it will help in creating robust infrastructure facilities for our tribal students.

The Finance Minister said, Government has allotted 35 thousand 219 crores for 6 years till 2025-2026, to benefit 4 crores SC students.

AIR correspondent reports that the overall allocation of funds for the welfare of STs has seen a huge increase this year. In the Union Budget 2021-22, over 78 thousand 256 crore rupees has been allocated as Scheduled Tribes Component, STC funds of 41 ministries or departments which is more than 50 per cent increase than the STC Budget of last financial year. The outlay for Annual Budget 2021-22 of Department of Social Justice and Empowerment is over 10 thousand 517 Crore rupees as against the outlay approved for the revised Budget Plan 2020-21. During 2021-22 around 76 per cent of annual budgetary outlay of the Department is allocated for States under Centrally Sponsored Schemes. The Allocation for Welfare of Scheduled Castes for all Ministries has been increased by 51.65 per cent from around 83 thousand 256 crore rupees in 2020-21 to Rs 1 lakh 26 thousand 259 crore rupees in 2021-22.

Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhyuday Yojana (PM AJAY) has been created after merger of three schemes with a target of comprehensive development of 3500 SC majority villages in 2021-22 to benefit 6 lakh beneficiaries with a holistic approach and varied interventions. An allocation of 1800 crore rupees has been made for PM AJAY in the new financial year.

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