The Andhra Pradesh Assembly on 2 December 2012 passed Andhra Pradesh SC, ST Sub-Plans Bill 2012 providing statutory status for implementation of the sub-plans for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The legislation will ensure fund allocation proportionate to the SC and ST population and is expected to prevent diversion of sub-plan funds for other activities and not allowing them unspent. There is also a mandatory provision for allocation of almost a fourth of the State’s annual plan of the budget for SC, ST. The bill was introduced on the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub-Committee.
The demand for according legal status to the Sub-Plans was made on states for a long time by the Planning Commission of India and National Development Council (NDC). With this, Andhra Pradesh has become the first state in India to enact such a legislation.
The Opposition endorsed the legislation except the Telugu Desam.The party sought an amendment by inserting a provision in the legislation to provide proportionate allocations to ABCD groups within the SCs based on their populations and socio-economic conditions. The proposal was defeated by 22 votes when it was subjected to voting.
Since the state assembly had the power to adopt annual budget only for one year, there was no constitutional provision to prevent lapsing of SC/ST funds.
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