To give a new thrust to the upliftment of scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST), the Maharashtra government in its state budget 2018-19 has granted INR 26,345.29 crore for various welfare schemes for them.
“The government was committed to socio-economic empowerment of the SC/ST, other backward classes and minorities,” Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was quoted as saying by a news agency.
With the focus on basic rural infrastructure, health, housing and education, INR 9,949.22 crore has been allocated for welfare schemes for SC and INR 8233.12 crore for the ST.
“Adequate measures through welfare schemes and allocations have been ensured in the budget. The development of all sections and segments is integral for the overall growth of the Maharashtra,” the chief minister added.
According to reports, out of the total INR 9,949.22 crore for the welfare scheme of the SC, INR 2,700 crores has been separately allocated for district-level schemes and INR 7,249.22 crore will be used for various state-level schemes.
To take the education and health sector in the state to next level, the government has allocated INR 357.99 crore for health services, INR 700 crore for Ramabai Gharkul Yojna and INR 718.59 crore for hostels and INR 2,020.32 crore for residential schools across the state.
With the objective to take the welfare schemes to grass-root level, the state government has allocated INR ,687.79 crore under Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Indira National Old Age Pension Scheme and Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme for old, dependent, widowed and handicapped families under the poverty line. In this regard, the state has increased the pension from INR 600 to INR 800 for people in the age group of 18-65 with 40 to 80 per cent disability and INR 1,000 for those with multiple disabilities.
With the focus to expand and renovate the People’s Education Society’s Hostel and convocation centre established at Nagsenvan by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the government has allocated INR 2 crore.
In another move to bring the tribal students to the mainstream English medium residential schools, the state government has granted INR 378 crore. INR 605 crore have also been granted for students, who can avail 603 vocational courses while pursuing higher professional education under the Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj.
To bring larger number of students under the scheme, the ceiling of family income for fee concessions have been raised from INR 6 to INR 8. It is for the wellbeing of students from Maratha community who have been demanding reservation.
The state government has also allocated INR 350 crore for various minority welfare schemes such as Madarsa Yojana, Maulana Azad Free Scholarship Yojana, free food for minority girls undergoing higher education, and training centres for police recruitment.