Andhra Assembly begins 3-day session
Hyderabad: A three-day session of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly began on Friday with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy tabling the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Bill, 2012.
The proposed legislation is aimed at "removing deficiencies in effective implementation of SC sub-plan and ST sub-plan and ensuring an accelerated development of SCs and STs through effective institutional mechanisms," according to the statement of objects and reasons cited in the Bill.
Moving the Bill, the Chief Minister said Andhra Pradesh would be the first state in the country to have such legislation with appropriate legislative framework for "accelerated development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for ensuring security, social dignity and promotion of equity."
Once enacted, the law would be implemented from the 2013-14 financial year, he added.
Recalling that the sub-plan for STs was launched in 1975-76 and for SCs in 1979-80, the Chief Minister said nowhere in the country were the funds allotted for the purpose being properly utilised.
"There has neither been proper allocation of funds nor utilisation under the sub-plans. In the absence of a legal framework, funds were diverted for different purposes by every government," he said.
The Planning Commission in its analysis in 2006 came out with the revelation that the sub-plan funds were not delivering intended benefits to the targeted groups, Kiran noted.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at the National Advisory Council meet in December 2011, had advised states to ensure proper utilisation of sub-plan funds during the 12th Plan period and accordingly the Andhra government decided to bring the sub-plans within a legal framework.
A Cabinet sub-committee, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, studied implementation of the sub-plans and came out with the recommendation for a legislation, among other things.
"The government will strive for comprehensive development of SCs and STs with special focus on their educational, financial and human resources development," the Chief Minister promised.
Reddy quoted Dr BR Ambedkar as saying that "lack of equal opportunities between persons is the cause of all problems" and said the government would strive to create equal opportunities to all.
Under the proposed legislation, the government would constitute the State Council for Development of SCs and STs headed by the Chief Minister to oversee effective implementation of the sub-plans.
Earlier, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen moved an adjournment motion seeking tabling of the report of the Cabinet Sub-Committee in the House.
Speaker Nadendla Manohar disallowed the motion while the Chief Minister said the Deputy Chief Minister would enlighten the House on the recommendations.
The Assembly will debate the issue on Saturday and Sunday before the legislation is enacted.
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