Venkatram Reddy Sureddy
(This article is the third part in the series Fraud, False Promises and Fiscal Imprudence highlighting the misadventures of TRS Government in Telangana)
In the previous article, we have looked at how TRS government’s flagship project in its election manifesto – Double bedroom houses for the poor – remains incomplete. In this article, let us take a look at various other welfare schemes taken up by the TRS government and the status of the same.
1. Martyrs in Telangana Movement
TRS made grand promises for helping the families of martyrs in Telangana movement in its election manifesto 2014.
However, after declaring more than 1,500 martyrs in the Telangana movement, financial assistance was provided for less than 500 families. The jobs promised in the manifesto when finally materialized were of lower grade. Moreover, agricultural land as promised was not provided. An analysis of budget reports and CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India) audit shows that 72% of the funds allocated for martyrs were not utilized. Only Rs. 50 Crores out of Rs. 190 Crores budgeted for martyrs’ families were spent. In fact, martyrs don’t even find a mention in the last three budgets of Telangana.
2. Fees reimbursement for students
The TRS mainifesto 2014 talks about free education from KG to PG, not to mention setting up of various universities.
A quick look at expense utilization shows that Rs. 1,756 Crores of money was not utilized towards reimbursing the fees of economically backward, BC, SC, tribal and minority students. Furthermore, none of the universities mentioned in the manifesto have become a reality so far.
3. Scheduled Castes (SC) Welfare
Rs. 50,000 Crores for development of Scheduled Castes was promised in the election manifesto by TRS in 2014.
The total budget allocation in the five years itself is 20% less than the promised amount – i.e. only Rs. 39,600 Crores have been allocated for SC welfare. Also, as per the CAG reports, nearly 55% of the funds allocated in the first three years were not spent on SC Welfare. In fact, CAG audit shows that only Rs. 7,364 Crores was spent on SC Welfare in the first three years.
4. Tribal Welfare
The manifesto goes on to promise 12% reservations for STs in education and employment not to mention three acres of land for landless STs.
More than 40% of funds allocated in the first three years towards tribal welfare remain unspent.
5. Minority Welfare
12% reservation for minorities in the state says the TRS election manifesto.
Forget additional reservation for minorities, almost half of the funds budgeted for minorities in the first three years were not utilized.
6. BC Welfare
Rs. 25,000 Crores for BC welfare was promised to the voters by TRS in 2014.
Less than Rs. 2,000 Crores was spent on BC welfare in the first three years.
Clearly, a quick study of the budgets and audit reports of Telangana makes it clear that the poll promises made by TRS government for welfare of the people – Fees reimbursement for students, Martyrs in Telangana movement, SC, ST, BC and Minorities welfare – have been tall claims that remain largely unfulfilled. The alacrity with which funds are allocated during the budgets when wide publicity is given to government schemes is absent when the actual implementation happens. Not only is the allocation of funds for the welfare much lower than the election promises made by TRS, but also utilization of funds allocated is dismal.