The Government has decided to commemorate the current financial year as the Year of Economic Empowerment for SC/ST entrepreneurs. In order to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women, Rs. 500 crore has been allotted in the budget under Stand Up India scheme. This is in line with the Prime Minister’s call for promoting entrepreneurship among SC/ST to become job providers rather than job seekers. This Scheme will facilitate at least two such projects per bank branch, one for each category of entrepreneur. This will benefit at least 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs.
The Government has also proposed to constitute a National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Hub, in the MSME sector in partnership with industry associations for building an entrepreneurship eco- system among Dalits. This Hub will provide professional support to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe entrepreneurs to fulfil the obligations under the Central Government procurement policy, adopt global best practices and leverage the Stand Up India initiative.
In the budget 2016-17 significant increase has also been made in the allocation of SC Sub Plan. Rs. 38,832 crore has been allocated under this head, while in the last budget this allocation was only Rs. 30,000 crore. These measures show that welfare of the vulnerable sections of the society, including SC / ST is in the top of the agenda of the Government.
The rehabilitation all the scavengers will be achieved very soon as a time bound action plan with the help of State Governments is in pipeline. The Ministry has also provided 250 women from the family of Safai Karamcharis with commercial motor driving skills and some of them are driving their own commercial vehicles after funding from National Safai Karamchari Finance Development Corporation.