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Special Component Plan

Government of India introduced the concept of Special Component Plan for the Scheduled Castes for ensuring their speedy development, since Scheduled Castes predominantly belong to the weaker sections of the society. They have few assets and are generally dependent on agricultural labor and other low income occupations. They mostly continue to pursue traditional occupations and are generally unable to avail themselves of the new employment opportunities generated through various economic development activities. As such it was necessary to have an overall perspective of the development of Scheduled Castes/Nav Buddhas comprising economic, educational and social aspects and fulfillment of minimum needs. The Scheduled Caste Sub Plan, is previously named as Special Component Plan, concept was first introduced during the Sixth Plan to channelize the flow of benefits and outlays in physical and financial terms from the general sectors in the Plans of the States/Union Territories for development of SCs. These plans are envisaged to help the poor SC families through composite income generating/welfare schemes. The system has evolved a useful mechanism to draw funds and physical benefits in various sectors for improving the socio-economic and living conditions of the Scheduled Castes people. Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) is prepared as an integral part of Five Year Plan/Annual Plan showing sector-wise scheme-wise outlays earmarked for Scheduled Castes and corresponding physical targets. According to the guidelines received from Government of India, flow of funds to SCs in States and Union Territories should be equivalent to percentage of Scheduled Castes population to total population of the States and Union Territories.

Objective:


       The following should be the broad objectives of the SCSP:
  • Substantial reduction in poverty and unemployment.
  • Creation of productive assets in favour of Scheduled Castes to sustain the growth likely to accrue through development efforts.
  • Human resource development of the Scheduled Castes by providing adequate educational and health services, and Provision of Physical and financial security against all types of exploitation and oppression.

Action Plan:


 
                To fulfill the above objectives the following points may be taken into account for formulating SCSP :
  1. Earmarking of funds for SCSP from total State Plan Outlay at least in the proportion of SC population to the total population of the State / UT.  
  2. Scheduled Caste sub Plan funds should be non-divertable and non-lapsable.
  3.   
  4. Making the Social Welfare Department/ the Department concerned with the welfare and development of SCs as nodal department for formulation and implementation of SCSP.
  5. Placing the funds earmarked for SCSP at the disposal of the nodal department concerned which in turn will reallocate the funds to the sectoral departments for implementing schemes directly relevant to SC development.
  6. Placing the funds earmarked for SCSP under separate budget head / sub-head for each development department implementing SCSP. In this connection it may be noted that the List of Major and Minor Heads of Account of Union and States as issued by the Controller General of Accounts provides Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (789) may be opened as Minor Head below the functional Major Head / Sub Major Head wherever necessary.
  7. Special Central Assistance (SCA) for the SCSP is being extended by the Centre to the States as a 100% grant meant to fill critical gaps and missing inputs for family-oriented income-generating schemes and supporting infrastructure development with a special focus on BPL families. Guidelines issued in this connection should be strictly followed.

Monitoring of SCSP


   
  1. State and District/Block level Monitoring Committees should be constituted to monitor the implementation of various schemes under SCSP of various development departments. The District/Block level committees may review the progress of implementation of schemes and utilization of funds on monthly basis and the State level committees may review the progress on quarterly basis.
  2. District and Block level committees may be constituted on the pattern of District and Block level committee constituted by the Ministry of Rural Development by involving elected members (MPs, MLAs and Panchayat members, and other prominent leaders in the districts) or the same committees may be entrusted with the responsibilities for monitoring of these programmes.
  3. The nodal department should ensure timely release of funds to the concerned development departments who in turn should ensure immediate release of funds soon after the receipts of funds from nodal department to their field level implementing agencies. Any lapse on the part of field level implementing agencies in timely utilization of funds and proper implementation of the schemes may be viewed seriously.
  4. Non-earmarking of funds under SCSP may result in non-approval of Plans of the States/UTs.
  5. Ministries of Social Justice & Empowerment and Tribal Affairs will be actively involved in the process of finalization of Annual Plans of the States/UTs.
  6. Evaluation to assess the impact of economic development schemes implemented under SCSP, on the socio-economic conditions of SCs may be get conducted by the nodal department on regular basis. Dissemination of information to SCs allover the State/UT about the schemes/programmes available for their development may be the responsibility of the nodal department. The nodal department may also ensure the follow up of the schemes implemented and maintenance of proper records on assets created under SCSP in District/Block etc.