The Delhi government was diverting funds meant for welfare of Dalits for treating animals and distributing Diwali gifts, an activist body alleged Wednesday on the basis of information retrieved using the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Rashtriya Shoshit Parishad president Jai Bhagwan Jatav alleged that out of a fund of Rs.8.80 billion allocated in fiscal 2006-07 for upliftment of the Scheduled Castes, the
state government was able to spend only Rs.60 million for them.
Jatav said as per the Planning Commission guidelines, a sum of Rs.8.80 billion was allocated for schemes related to the Scheduled Castes in proportion to their numbers in the total population - 16.09 percent in Delhi.
He pointed out the plan panel guidelines stipulate that the funds for the Scheduled Caste population are 'non-lapsable and non-divertable', that is, they can neither be diverted to other schemes nor can they be returned.
Such funds have to be added to funds under the same head for the subsequent fiscal, explained Jatav, a close associate of former prime minister V.P. Singh.
Yet the Delhi government, out of the amount of Rs.8.8 billion, spent over Rs.9 million on items such as treatment of sick animals and their vaccination and treating them for diseases related to sterility, Jatav alleged.
Giving another example of diversion of funds for Dalits, Jatav said in response to one of his queries under the RTI Act, the Delhi government informed him that it had spent Rs.650,000 from the fund meant for Dalits in distributing Diwali gifts and another Rs.1.9 million on entertainment.