Hyderabad: In a bid to achieve ‘Samkshema Telangana’, the TRS government has been striving in a planned manner for the social, financial and political development of SCs and STs in the young State.
Unlike in the undivided Andhra Pradesh rule, the State government enacted an SC/ST Special Development Fund Act 2017, which mandates complete spending of funds allocated to SCs and STs. In case these funds are not spent in a financial year, they will be carried forward to the ensuing year. Both the SC and ST communities have been getting budgetary allocations in proportion to their population in the State.
In 2020-21, the State allocated Rs 16,534.97 crore towards the SC Special Development Fund and another Rs 9,771.27 crore towards the ST Special Development Fund in the budget. Industrial incentives worth Rs 338 crore were given to enthusiastic entrepreneurs under the TS PRIDE and CMSTEI schemes this year.
Further, the government passed legislation in the Assembly in March 2018, upgrading the tribal hamlets into gram panchayats. As per the Act, around 1,177 hamlets were given gram panchayat status. With about 1,281 of these habitats located in the Scheduled Area, they have been reserved for STs. Considering the population of STs, the State has reserved another 688 villages for them.
As a result, about 3,146 persons from the ST community have been elected sarpanches. Telangana is the only State in the country to establish separate panchayats for STs and delegate village administration responsibilities to them.
Similarly, the government has been providing free power to SC and ST households in the State since August 2018. The free supply limit has been increased from 50 units to 101 units.
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