Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot said that there is an increase of 12.19% in the Budget of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the year 2018-19 as compared to year 2017-18. The Budget in year 2017-18 was Rs. 6908.00 crore which has been increased to Rs. 7750.00 crorein year 2018-19. This is an Increase of Rs. 842.00 crore i.e. 12.19 % increase in the budget.He was addressing a Press Conference on the “Four year’s achievement of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment” here today. Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Vijay Sampla, Shri Ramdas Athawale and Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Secretary, M/o SJ&E Smt. Neelam Sawhney and Secretary, DEPwD Smt. Shakuntala D. Gamlin were also present.He said that that a National Survey of Manual Scavengers in 170 identified districts of 18 States has been undertaken keeping in view the slow progress of identification by States. The Survey is being coordinated and monitored by NSKFDC in association with the representatives of State Government and Social Organizations. Survey Camps in 125 districts have been completed and so far, 5365 persons have been identified as manual scavengers.
He said that the Ministry is implementing 25 Schemes in Direct Benefit Transfer mode. During 2016-17and 2017-18 assistance/benefits to 1.45 and 1.66 crore beneficiaries respectively were released in DBT mode by the implementing agencies. Aadhaar seeding in the beneficiary database has reached to 66%. Allocation under Allocation for Welfare of Scheduled Castes (AWSC) has increased from Rs. 30850.88 crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 56618.50 crore, an increase of 83.52%, he added.Shri Gehlot said that the flagship Scheme of Post-Matric Scholarship to SC Students (PMS-SC) covers approximately 60 lakh students per year. Between 2014 to 2018, 2,29,30,654 students have availed PMS-SC scholarships and an amount of Rs 10,388 crores has been utilised.The Union Cabinet has approved clearance of accumulated arrears of Rs. 8737 crores to the States/UTs in PMS-SC. In 2018-2019 Rs. 3000 crores has been allocated for this purpose.Rate of for Pre-Matric Scholarship for SC students studying in class IX and X and Pre-Matric Scholarship for SC Students and Pre-Matric Scholarship to the Children of those engaged in occupations involving cleaning and prone to health hazards has been enhanced by 50 % from 2017-2018.
Referring to the National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste he said that during the period April, 2014 to March, 2018, 8000 Scholars were covered under the scheme at a total cost of Rs.770.80 crore. In 2018-19, 2000 scholars will receive Fellowships for M.Phil /Ph.D.Parental Income limit for all merit based scholarship schemes have been raised to Rs. 6lakh per annum from 2017-2018.About the Incentive for Inter-Caste Marriages, the Minister said that under the Centrally Sponsored scheme for implementation of PCR and PoA Acts amount of incentive for inter-caste marriages where one of the spouses is a member of a Scheduled Caste, has been uniformly made as Rs. 2.50 lakh, with effect from 2017-2018. For the sake of security, the amount of incentive is required to be placed in a fixed deposit, jointly in the name of the couple (the first name being of the woman), in a Government/Nationalized Bank, for a lock-in period of three years without facility for its pre-mature encashment.Shri Gehlot said that the centrally sponsored scheme ‘PradhanMantriAdarsh Gram Yojana’ (PMAGY) is being implemented for integrated development of Scheduled Castes (SC) majority villages having SC population concentration exceeding 50%. 2500 Scheduled Castes majority villages are covered under the Scheme. Rs. 300 crore has been allocated for PMAGY for the period 2017-2018 to 2019-2020.
Referring to the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes, Shri Gehlot said that scheme of Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes was started in 2014-15 and till date, Rs. 255 croreshad been sanctioned to 71 SC entrepreneurs.He informed that the overall allocations for the welfare of OBC in 2018-19 has been increased by 41.03%, from,Rs. 1237.30 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 1747.00 crore in 2018-19.New scheme Venture Capital Fund for OBCs on similar lines as Venture Capital Fund for SCs to be launched with an initial corpus of Rs. 200 crore. Rs. 140 crore provided in 2018-19.Enhancement of monetary limit of Non-creamy layer from Rs.6.00 lakh to Rs8.00 lakh per annum w.e.f 01.09.2017.The Commission to examine the Sub-categorization of OBCs headed by Chief Justice (Retd.) of Delhi High Court G. Rohini has been constituted on 2.10.2017 and started functioning on 11.11.2017.The Minister said that under the scheme of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse, cost norms increased by 30% for the de-addiction centres supported by Department w.e.f. 01/04/2018.Cooks and Full time doctors have been provided for the centres and an additional Chowkidar also provided for each centre. Under the scheme of Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens, cost norms had been increased up to 110% w.e.f. 01.4.2015, which have further been increased, up to 104%, from 01/04/2018. Thus the cost norms prior to 01.4.2015 have been increased, up to 288% (From Rs. 5.42 lacs to Rs. 21.6 lacs for an Old Age Home). New posts of Physiotherapist Attendant and Yoga teachers have been provided under the scheme and provision for registration, standardisation and rating of homes have been made. Last revision of cost norms took place on 01/04/2015, he added.
The Minister informed that under the RastriyaVayoshri Yojana, a total of 292 Districts have been selected, assessment campswere held in 52 Districts and distribution camps held in 39 districts, benefitting 43865 Senior Citizens. Total 99431 devices provided to senior citizens belongings to BPL categories.For the first time, National survey to identify victims of drug abuse is taken up. The survey covers 185 districts, 1.5 lakh households and 6 lakh individuals. The survey is already underway and expected to be completed shortly.Shri Gehlot informed that the objectives of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities(DEPwD) is to empower PwDs and the emphasis is being laid on: Providing aids and appliances to various types of disabilities; Creating barrier free environment in terms of building, transport and websites; early intervention, schooling, vocational training of children through NGOs; Scholarships in schools, colleges, professional education andskill development.He said that the Old law of 1995 has been repealed by the Right based law of 2016, namely – The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. It guarantees right to equality, non-discrimination, right to community life, access to justice, right to education, employment etc. 21 types of disabilities have now been recognized in place of earlier 7 types of disabilities.
Referring to ADIP camps, the Minister said that from 2014 till date, Rs. 622.45 crores have been spent under the ADIP scheme covering 9.97 lakhs beneficiaries through 6459 camps across the country.172 hospitals have been empanelled for Cochlear Implant surgeries and 1142 Cochlear implants surgeries conducted so far. Eligibility of motorized tricycles for PwDs has been reduced from 18 years to 16 years. In last 4 years, persons with more than 80% disabilities have been given 5693 motorized tricycle. The budgetary support of Rs.95.36 in the year 2013-14 has been increased to more than double i.e. to Rs.220 crore for the year 2018-19.He informed that the Accessible India Campaign is a targeted programme and it provides funds to State Governments to make public buildings, transport, road and websites accessible. 1662 buildings have been audited, Rs. 160.3 lakhs have been released for 613 buildings. All 34 international airports have been made accessible, 48 domestic airports have been made accessible. Out of 709, AI, A & B categories of railway stations, 667 stations have been made accessible, 13613 buses have been made accessible. Out of 917 States’s websites, 205 websites have been made accessible.