The Adivasi Rashtriya Manch has alleged that the Union Budget released by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week has neglected the tribal communities. The government has only allocated 2.26 per cent of the budget to the community, whereas they stand as 8.6 per cent of the population. The Manch demanded that the budgetary allocation for scheduled tribes and scheduled castes communities be proportionate to their population share in the country. The community representatives said that the government had cut corners in their social subsidies and other expenditures like food, health, social security, agriculture, and fertilisers.
'India Being One of The Most Unequal Countries'
The Chairperson of the Manch M Baburao Jitendra Chaudhury said, "A budget is meant to further the aspect of distributive justice to address economic and social inequalities. But this budget will only intensify the shameful record of India being one of the most unequal countries in the world. This (the budget) means that tribal communities in India have been robbed of Rs 2.5 lakh crore of what is due even by norms accepted by this government", The Indian Express quoted. Moreover, Chaudhary also said that the budget allocations for the community were not entirely used in the previous years as well.
Budget Reduction To Severely Affect The Community
He had mentioned that the tribal students had to drop out of the education system due to their inability to access online education. At the same time, they were not provided with the post-matric scholarship of Rs 292 crores, Rs 400 crores were not spent for the development of Eklavya Residential Schools, and Rs 300 crore was meant for Midday meals was not used for their benefit. Out of the Rs 2 crore allocated for tribal universities in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, only Rs 47 lakh was provided. The Manch has highlighted that the budget reduction for agriculture and rural development would severely affect the community.
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