T’gana releases Rs 500 crore more for ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme

Hyderabad:- The Telangana government on Monday released the second instalment of Rs 500 crore for implementation of its ambitious ‘Telangana Dalit Bandhu’ scheme on pilot basis in Huzurabad Assembly constituency, where by-elections are due to be held.

A week after launch of the welfare scheme by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, also known as KCR, at a public meeting in the constituency, the state government issued orders releasing the funds.

Rao has directed the officials to release Rs 2,000 crore for the pilot project in the constituency. While the first instalment of Rs 500 crore was released on August 6, another Rs 500 crore was released on Monday.

According to Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), another Rs 1,000 crore will be released for the pilot project of the scheme in next one week.

Under ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme which is a creation of the Telangana Chief Minister, every Dalit family will get Rs 10 lakh as grant and will be free to choose their profession, self-employment or businesses for utilising the funds.

Addressing a public meeting at Shalapaly in Huzurabad constituency to launch the scheme, KCR had announced that his government will disburse more than Rs 2,000 crore to 21,000 Dalit families in Huzurabad in next two months.

He said the scheme will be implemented for all Scheduled Caste (SC) families in a saturation mode.

Earlier on August 5, the Telangana government had released Rs 7.60 crore to extend the financial assistance to 76 Dalit families in Vasalamarri, a village adopted by the Chief Minister in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district.

While addressing the public meeting in Huzurabad, Rao declared that all 17 lakh Dalit families will be benefited from the scheme. The total population of Dalits in the state is 75 lakh.

KCR said if ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme is implemented for all 17 lakh SC families in the state, it will cost the state government Rs 1.7 lakh crore. The state government will allocate Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore in the budget every year for three to four years, KCR added.

He said the most deprived among the SC families will receive the financial assistance.

However, the launch of the pilot project from Huzurabad constituency has come under criticism from the opposition parties and some NGOs, who alleged that the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is trying to lure Dalit voters.

Huzurabad seat fell vacant following the resignation of former Minister Eatala Rajender, who was dropped from the state cabinet by KCR.

Rajender joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and is preparing to contest the Huzurabad bypoll as the saffron party candidate.