Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao unveiled the roadmap for implementation of Dalit Bandhu scheme, saying that it would be extended to 100 families each in all the 119 Assembly constituencies in the state by March 2022 for which nearly Rs 3,500 crore was required.
The Chief Minister announced that Rs 20,000 crore would be sanctioned in the upcoming budget for Dalit Bandhu to cover another 2 lakh families next year. He announced that all 18 lakh Dalit families would be covered in saturation mode in phases in subsequent years at a cost of Rs 1.80 lakh crore adding that minorities, BCs and the poor among OCs would also be covered later.
He was replying to a short discussion on Dalit Bandhu in the Assembly on Tuesday. Responding to Opposition parties' questions over from where will the government mobilise Rs 1.8 lakh crore required for Dalit Bandhu, the Chief Minister said, "If need be, we will sell government lands for the benefit of Dalits. Our recent auction of lands fetched nearly Rs 2,700 crore at the rate of Rs 40 crore per acre. Telangana's GDP is also growing fast at Rs 10 lakh crore now. In the next seven years, it is expected to increase to Rs 23 lakh crore. I have no doubt that the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) will remain in power for the next two terms and mobilsing funds for Dalit Bandhu will be a small thing for a state with such big GDP growth."
Reminding that the Opposition parties that same doubts were expressed when he had announced Rythu Bandhu scheme in 2018, the Chief Minister said, "Rythu Bandhu is being implemented without any interruption since 2018 at a cost of Rs 15,000 crore per year. Some people look at Rythu Bandhu as a populist or subsidy scheme and argue that it's not good for the economy. But they should realise that Rythu Bandhu contributed to higher agriculture production and higher GDP. It has cascading effect on economy. Telangana produced paddy worth Rs 12,000 crore when state was formed in 2014, which has now increased to Rs 50,000 crore. Is it not helping state economy to grow?"
He said in a similar manner, that the amount spent on Dalit Bandhu would be utilised on economic activities of Dalits, who would set up their business units, contribute to the GDP and employment which in return would help the state to prosper.
At present, Dalit Bandhu is being implemented on a pilot basis in Huzurabad Assembly constituency in saturation mode to cover all 20,000 Dalit families at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore to extend Rs 10 lakh financial assistance to each family. This apart, the scheme is also being implemented on a pilot basis in Vasalamarri, the village adopted by the Chief Minister in Bhongir district besides four mandals in four SC-reserved constituencies - Chintakani mandal in Madhira constituency, Tirmalgiri mandal in Tungaturthy, Charagonda mandal in Achampet constituency and Nizamsagar mandal in Jukkal constituency....