Chandigarh: National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) on Tuesday expressed concern over the lack of proper implementation of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Act in Punjab.
After holding review meeting with state officials here, NCSC Chairman Dr P L Punia said that "Punjab State Vigilance and Monitoring Committee headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had not held its meeting since 2006 even though it is required to hold its meting every six months".
"Similarly meetings at district levels are also not being held on a regular interval," he added.
On the alleged atrocities against SC people too, delays have been noticed in filling of FIRs as well as in trials leading to very low conviction rate, he said.
He, however, lauded Punjab govenment's 'Help line 181' and 'Sanjha Kendra' in providing relief to the SC people.
He said that the financial assistance of Rs 434.07 lakhs under Scheduled Caste Special Component Plan released by the Centre in 2010 for Punjab had not been properly utilised and the utilisation certificate in this regard was not submitted so far, resulting in non-release of funds to the state for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
He said that as per the norms, 32 per cent of plan funds need to be assigned to the Scheduled Castes.
"Punjab government had agreed that it could assign only 28 per cent,but in actuality the funds being spent exclusively for SC related schemes were meagre two per cent," he said.
Punia said that, "another serious lapse noticed by the Commission was non-filling up of 20,000 backlog vacancies in the SC category and state government's attention has been drawn towards this".
Punia said that the Commission has only recommendatory powers, though it has written to the President of India to make its recommendations binding on the states.
He said that it had recommended for distribution of surplus 18000 acre of land in Punjab among Schedule Caste families.
On the status of UT Chandigarh, Punia said that it was satisfactory.
The Commission was in city to have a Review Meeting for Punjab and UT of Chandigarh.
It held deliberations with the people's representatives and associations yesterday and with the top administrative officers of Punjab and Chandigarh today.