Hyderabad: In a first-of-its-kind initiative, an all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao took a unanimous decision to provide financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh per unit (family as a unit) under the Chief Minister’s Dalit Empowerment scheme.
In the first phase, the scheme will be launched with an initial budget of Rs 1,200 crore benefiting a total 11,900 poorest Dalit families covering 100 families each from all the 119 Assembly constituencies in the State.
Further, the meeting decided to deposit the entire amount directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries on the lines of Rythu Bandhu scheme, respecting the decision-making of the latter to design the scheme as per their needs and develop for achieving economic empowerment and self-sufficiency.
Under the scheme, the financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh will be provided to each beneficiary without any bank guarantee. The Chief Minister convened the all-party meeting at Pragathi Bhavan here on Sunday to discuss and seek suggestions from all the political parties in the State for implementing the Dalit Empowerment scheme in an effective manner.
The speakers at the all-party meeting was of the view that the scheme would contribute to a qualitative change in the lives of the Dalits and change their lives for better. They felt that this would be the first step towards a casteless society. They said the Chief Minister’s ideas for Dalit upliftment stand as a model for the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao gave a clarion call to the political parties to join hands for implementing a transparent policy for Dalit empowerment through the Chief Minister’s Dalit Empowerment scheme.
Assuring to allocate necessary funds, he called on the parties to take up the responsibility for collective action beyond political lines. He said the governments have a crucial role to play in nurturing the society to move forward. Any negligence would ruin the future generations and the rulers will be responsible for the same, he said. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the only word mentioned for the most socially and economically backward community in any town, is Dalits. There shall be no sufferings on their part any more,” he said.
The Chief Minister asserted that the government was committed to implement the Dalit Empowerment scheme on a mission mode for upliftment of the Dalits. He appealed to the representatives of all the political parties to make suggestions for a highly transparent policy to avoid middlemen and ensure direct financial assistance to the beneficiaries on the lines of the Rythu Bandhu and Aasara pensions.
He emphasised the need for identification of eligible families and start helping those who are at the bottom of the strata as well as monitor their progress constantly using technological advancements. The government will formulate an action plan accordingly.
“We intially allocated Rs 1,000 crore for CM Dalit Empowerment Scheme for the current financial year and the government is ready to spend another Rs 500 crore. We plan to spend Rs 35,000- 40,000 crore over the next three to four years for the specific purpose, in addition to the allocations made under the SC sub-plan. But we must come up with a collective action plan in this regard and work together for its effective implementation. It is my determination to make the CM Dalit Empowerment Scheme a complete success, using all the powers bestowed upon me by the God,” he said.
In a competitive world, he advised the Dalit youth to home their skills and seize employment opportunities for which the government will provide necessary support.
SC Development Minister Koppula Eeshwar, Congress Legislative Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, BJP leader Mothkupalli Narsimhulu, CPM State secretary Thammineni Veerabhadram, CPI State secretary Chada Venkata Reddy, MIM MLA Syed Ahmed Pasha Qadri, Telangana State SC and ST Commission chairman Errolla Srinivas, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar along with SC legislators and other senior officials, participated in the meeting.