1 Sep, 2010, 04.37AM IST,ET Bureau

Centre admits Sheila diverted SC/ST fund for Games

NEW DELHI: The Centre has admitted that the Sheila Dikshit government
violated guidelines to divert funds meant for Schedules Castes and
Tribes to finance its pets projects for the Commonwealth Games.

“In view of the guidelines of 2006, these appear to be wrong,” home
minister P Chidambaram said in the Rajya Sabha during a discussion on
the diversion of nearly Rs 678 crore from the funds for Scheduled
Castes and Tribes for the Commonwealth Games. The admission comes at a
time when the Delhi government is under attack from the rivals for its
reluctance to conduct governance in an ethical manner.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed disruptions by BSP MPs over the issue, which
came to light through a Right to Information application.

According to the information given by Delhi government to an RTI
petitioner, nearly Rs 678 crore from Delhi’s special component plan,
which was meant for improving the standard of living of the poor
sections of the community through various government schemes and
programmes, was diverted for Games projects.

In his reply, Mr Chidambaram said that Delhi government had got around
Rs 8,000 crore for five years from 2006-7 to 2009-10, under the
special component plan. “As is common practice with various other
state governments, Delhi had divided this fund into two categories —
divisible and indivisible.” The divisible category was for schemes
which affected the Scheduled Castes and Tribes directly. “While Rs 983
crore was in the divisible category, the rest — Rs 7,100 crore — was
in the indivisible category. Out of that (indivisible category), Rs
678 crore was contributed to CWG projects,” the home minister said.

“This seems to be prima-facie wrong,” Mr Chidambaram admitted, but
added: “This happens not just in NCT, but in all states.” He said that
Delhi government had told him that the amount diverted will be added
to the Plan funds for the next financial year. The minister said that
the Planning Commission was seized of the matter and had set up a
committee to look into the diversion of funds in all states.


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