Chandigarh, June 17 – Haryana Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Mrs. Geeta Bhukkal has urged the Central Government to waive off loans of members belonging to Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes taken from Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation as waived for farmers by the Central Government in case of loss caused due to natural calamities.
Mrs. Bhukkal was speaking at a two-day conference of Welfare and Social Justice and Empowerment Ministers of various States organized under the chairmanship of Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Mr. Mukul Wasnik at New Delhi today. The conference was inaugurated by Prime Minster, Dr. Manmohan Singh.Mrs Bhukkal also suggested that time period for repayment of loans taken by State Corporations from National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation should be increased to eight years from present five years. The Minister said that provision of reservation should also be made for people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes for staff to be recruited on contract basis under Centrally sponsored schemes such as Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan and National Rural Health Mission. Besides, the family income limit of needy should also be increased from Rs.2.4 lakh to Rs.five lakh under which financial assistance for entrance tests is being given to students belonging to Schedules Castes. She said that 30 hostels have been constructed in Haryana under Babu Jagjivan Ram Hostel scheme and these would soon be constructed in all districts in the state.
The Minister said that Centrally sponsored schemes for Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes should be reviewed regularly so that these could be improved. She said that Vigilance and Monitoring Committee had been constituted under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 in the state. This committee would soon be constituted at district level in Haryana. She also suggested enhancing the financial assistance to be given to victims under the Act.
Mrs. Bhukkal stressed the need for educational development of members belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs)and Backward Classes (BCs) to ensure their socio-economic welfare. Haryana Government under the leadership of Chief Minister, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda had implemented a number of schemes in this direction. She also suggested that reservation should be given to people belonging to SCs and BCs in allotment of commercial and industrial plots so as to ensure their economic development. At present, reservation for SCs and BCs in residential plots is applicable in case of five to six marla plots.