March 8, 2005

PM forms panel of ministers for Dalit schemes

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday constituted a committee of ministers on Dalit affairs to supervise programmes being run by various ministries and departments for welfare of Dalits. The committee would consolidate the functioning and implementation of schemes to improve effectiveness and identify areas needing attention. The committee has been set up because despite large amounts being allocated to a number of prog- rammes, the outcome has not been commensurate.

As a first step, the Government plans to launch awareness campaigns with the help of NGOs to ensure that Dalits avail of the schemes. The Government would also encourage state governments to implement all existing schemes for empowerment of the community. It would order early identification of surplus land under the Land Ceiling Act and distribution among Dalits.

The committee will be chaired by the Prime Minister and will also comprise Union Ministers of Defence, HRD, Agriculture, Home, Chemicals, Fertilisers and Steel, Law and Justice, Rural Development, Small Scale Industries, Social Justice and Empowerment, Water Resources, and Labour and Employment.

The committee will also comprise Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, and Minister of State for Personnel and Parliamentary Affairs.

India Committee of the Netherlands / Landelijke India Werkgroep - 9 maart 2005