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   Friday, February 22, 2019
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NGOs charge Delhi Govt of diverting welfare funds for CWG
By d-sector Team

With the Commonwealth Games, 2010 drawing close, the organizers have come under suspicion due to the nonstop revelations about the gross financial irregularities in the Games. The latest disclosure about diversion of Rs 744.354 crore—earmarked for the welfare of Scheduled Castes— to the projects related to CWG has put Delhi government in the dock.

Delhi-based NGOs National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights and House and Land Rights Network (HLRN) collected the relevant details through RTI (Right to Information) and shared it with media.

Accusing the Delhi State government of illegally diverting the funds meant for Special Component Plan (Schedule Caste Sub Plan) to the infrastructure projects related to the Games, the NGOs provided a detailed analysis of funds diverted to different government departments involved in the preparation of Games.

Every year since 2006-07, crores of rupees were diverted from Special Component Plan (SCP) meant for welfare of Scheduled Castes, but most of the proposed work for preparation of the Games is yet to be completed indicating mismanagement of the funds.

National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights’ General Secretary Paul Divakar said the diversion of the SCP reveals the rampant corruption in the government bodies.

Mr Divakar questioned the rationale for diverting funds to the projects which did not exist. “How can the government bodies demand extra money without providing details about the projects,” he asked and added that there was a complete lack of accountability and transparency in the whole process.

Holding the Planning Commission of India responsible for these irregularities, HLRN’S Executive Director and former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Miloon Kothari said “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will have to explain to the nation about the funds which have been wasted since he is the Chairman of Planning Commission”.

“The attempts made by civil society to bring transparency in the process of the Games have been met with complete denial. All the requests to disclose the expenditure of the event have been rejected,” Mr Kothari added.

Both the NGOs in a joint statement charged that the embezzled money was meant to be utilised in eradicating manual scavenging, and to support Schedule cast entrepreneurs and other welfare activities.

Lamenting at the gross mismanagement of the funds, Mr Kothari demanded the expansion of Central Vigilance Commission’s investigation into the matter. He also called for CBI probe and prosecution of the officials who took the decision of diverting funds.

The SCP was introduced in 1979-1980 by the central government as a means for socio-economic welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes of India.

With these new revelations of diversion of non-divertible and non-lapsable funds for SCP, in addition to the ever mounting allegations of huge corruption, the Commonwealth Games have come under vigilance scrutiny and expected to affect already slow preparations for the Games.

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 Other Articles by d-sector Team in
Political Development  > Governance > Corruption and misgovernance
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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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