Positive Discrimination in favor of the under privileged: Part III- Schemes and Programmes (Economic)

Carrying forward from our first two parts where we learnt Part I – Various constitutional provisions in favour of under privileged and Part II -What five year plans envisaged and emphasised for underprivileged population, in this part we will explore various schemes and programme implemented for Underprivileged population.

(A) Economic Empowerment:

1. Special Component Plan For SCs (Now called Scheduled Caste Sub-plan)

  • It was initialised during 6th FYP (1980-85).
  • This is an umbrella strategy to direct plan resources across central ministries in GOI and Departments in the states at least in proportion to the SC/ST population at the national level, and similarly at the state level.

2. Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP)

  • Tth FYP (1974-79)The present Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) strategy was initially developed by an Expert Committee set up by the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare in 1972 under the Chairmanship of Prof. S.C. Dube.
  • TSP approach envisages integrated development of tribal areas wherein all programs irrespective of source of funding operate in unison to achieve the goal of bringing tribal area at par with the rest of the state and improve the quality of life of tribal. 
  • It is geared towards taking up family oriented income generating schemes, elimination of exploitation, human resource development through education and training and infrastructure development.
  • Areas included in the Tribal Sub-plan area blocks or tehsils with 50% or more tribal population.

3. Special Central Assistance To SCP and TSP

  • 6th FYP (1980-85)
  • Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) is a central scheme under which 100% grant is given to the States/UTs as an additive to their Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP).
  • The main objective is to give a thrust to family oriented schemes of economic development of SCs below the poverty line, by providing resources for filling the critical gaps and for providing missing vital inputs so that the schemes can be more meaningful.
  • Central Assistance to Scheduled Caste Sub Plan: 2017-18= Rs. 731.85 Cr and 2018-19= Rs. 735.46 Cr.

4. Scheduled Castes Development Corporations (SCDC)

  • 6th FYP (1980-85)
  • The main functions of SCDCs include identification of eligible SC families and motivating them to undertake economic development schemes, sponsoring the schemes to financial institutions for credit support, providing financial assistance in the form of the margin money at a low rate of interest, providing subsidy out of the funds made available to the States under the Scheme of Special Central Assistance to Special Component Plan of the States to reduce the repayment liability and providing necessary tie up with other poverty alleviation programmes.
  • For facilitating loans to Scheduled Castes, the SCDCs tie up with the local banks, National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) and National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC). Thus the SCDCs are playing an important role in providing credit and missing inputs by way of margin money loans and subsidy to the target group.
  • Similarly there are state level corporations and also for STs, OBCs and minorities.

5. Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation (TRIFED)

  • 7th FYP (1985-90),
  • The ultimate objective of TRIFED is socio-economic development of tribal people in the country by way of marketing development of the tribal products on which the lives of tribals depends heavily as they spend most of their time and derive major portion of their income.
  • It is a national-level apex organisation functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India.
  • TRIFED has its registered and Head Office located in New Delhi and has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.
  • TRIFED also organises National Tribal Craft Expo called “AADISHILP”, painting exhibition called “Aadi Chitra”, “OCTAVE” for North Eastern Artisans and Tribal Artisan Melas to facilitate the sale of their products.

6. National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC)

  • 7th FYP, set up by Govt of India in 1989.
  • Objective is for financing, facilitating and mobilising funds for the socio-economic development of  Scheduled  Caste person having annual family income up to Rs. 3.00 lakh for both rural and urban areas.
  • It provides financial assistance for income generating schemes for the target group through State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) which are nominated by respective State Government /UT  Administrations and other Channel Partners such as Public Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks, NBFC-MFIs, Cooperative Banks/Societies and other development organisations with whom NSFDC has signed memorandum of agreement (MOA)

7. National Safai Karmachari Finance and Development Corporation:

  • 8th FYP (1990-95)National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation(NSKFDC),  A wholly owned Govt. of India Undertaking under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (M/o SJ&E) was set up on  24th January 1997  as a Company “Not for Profit” under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. 
  • NSKFDC is in operation since October, 1997, as an Apex Corporation for the all round socio-economic upliftment of the Safai Karamcharis, Scavengers and their dependants throughout India, through various loan and non-loan based schemes.
  • Was set for guaranteeing employment generation and finance for safai karmacharis.
  • With a major thrust on ensuring benefits for women

8. Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes

  • The objective of the fund is to promote entrepreneurship amongst the Scheduled Castes who are oriented towards innovation and growth technologies and to provide concessional finance to the scheduled caste entrepreneurs.
  • The fund has been launched on 16.01.2015. During 2014-15, Rs.200 Crore were released initially for the Fund to IFCI Limited, which is a Nodal agency to implement it.

9. Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes

  • The objective of this Scheme is to provide credit guarantee facility to Young and start-up entrepreneurs, belonging to Scheduled Castes, who aspire to be part of neo middle class category, with an objective to encourage entrepreneurship in the lower strata of the Society resulting in job creation besides creating confidence in Scheduled Castes.
  • The Scheme has been launched on 06.05.2015. Initially, Rs.200 Crore has been released under the Scheme to IFCI Limited, which is a Nodal agency to implement it.

In next part we will explore various acts and programmes which aim to bring social empowerment for underprivileged.

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