New Delhi: The National Commission for
Scheduled Castes has taken serious note of the reported
diversion of funds meant for welfare schemes for Dalits to
Commonwealth Games preparations by Delhi government and
demanded their return in case it has happened.
"The Commission has taken this matter seriously. I don`t
have full information, but, in my opinion the money that is
meant for Dalit welfare schemes should not be spent for any
other purpose. If it has been diverted, I demand that it
should be returned," P L Punia, who took charge of the
Commission Friday, told reporters here.
The state government is reported to have diverted nearly
Rs 740 crore for various CWG related infrastructure
projects that was actually meant for Dalit welfare schemes but
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had denied the allegation.
Punia was appointed chairman of the Commission as the
term of Buta Singh expired six months ago.
Asked for his opinion on reservation in private sector
for SC and STs, he said, "Personally I am for it. But,
today, I don`t understand how companies that take loan/money
from public limited banks/organisations can call themselves
private anymore. They should follow the same rules applicable
to public limited companies and have reservation".
Corporate India, led by the presidents of the country?s
three biggest industry lobbies, CII, FICCI and Assocham, had
last month told the Prime Minister`s Office that they will not
be able to reserve five per cent jobs for people belonging to
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as quotas will not serve
the purpose of affirmative action.
When told that Tata Sons had in one such meeting said
that if the reservation is enforced upon the private sector
then the company would rather pay off such people rather than
employ them, Punia said "such a feeling is not good".
To a question on the recommendation of Ranganath Mishra
Commission report on SC/ST status for Dalit Muslims and
Christians, he said, "there is no caste system in Muslims but
there are castes. We welcome their demand if it is justified".