Apart from making allocations for exclusive sub plans for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, Budget 2013-14 has special plans for minorities, women and children as well as persons with disabilities.
While presenting the Annual General Budget, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the budget had sub plans for welfare of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. These funds cannot be diverted and must be spent for the purpose of the sub plans.
He said that an allocation of Rs 41,561 crore to the scheduled castes sub plan and Rs 24,598 crore to the tribal sub plan had been made.
Women belonging to most vulnerable groups, including single women and widows, must be able to live with self-esteem and dignity, he said, while noting that young women face gender discrimination especially at the work place.
He said the ministry of Women and Child Development had been asked to design schemes to address these concerns and Rs 200 crore has been provided to begin work in this regard.
The Finance Minister said Rs 3,511 crore had been allocated to the ministry of Minority Affairs, which is an increase of 12 per cent over the budget estimates and 60 per cent over the revised estimates of 2012-13.
The Maulana Azad Education Foundation is the main vehicle to implement education schemes and channelised funds to non-government organisations for the minorities, he said and added that its corpus stands at Rs 750 crore.
He said that to raise this amount to Rs 1500 crore during the 12th Plan period, it is proposed to allocate Rs 160 crore to the corpus fund. Chidambaram said the Maulana Azad Education Foundation wishes to add medical aid to its objectives and the same had been accepted.
A beginning can be made by providing medical facilities such as a resident doctor in educational institutions run or funded by the Foundation, he said, adding Rs 100 crore is being allocated to launch this initiative.
Chidambaram said government is committed to provide support to persons with disabilities and announced a sum of Rs 110 crore to the Department of Disability Affairs for the ADIP Scheme in 2013-14.