Funds meant for tribal welfare being misutilised: AAP

Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday accused the Union Coal and Mining Ministeries of mis-utilising funds allocated for Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), a strategy for the socio-economic development of tribal people, and criticised the Central governmentfor not looking into the matter.

According to an RTI filed by AAP earlier this year enquiring about the status of the fund allocated by the two Central ministries under TSP, the money meant to be spent for the welfare of the tribal community was actually spent on activities like drilling and regional exploration, said party’s West Bengal in-charge Sanjay Basu.

“Like all other ministry, the Coal and Mining Ministries also keep 8.2 percent and four percent of its annual budget for TSP respectively. However, since FY 2010-11 they have not spent a single penny for the welfare of tribals,” Basu told reporters here.

“Every year the expenditure was shown in Parliament as expense towards TSP which was not the case. How can this go unnoticed by the centre for so long?” he questioned adding that his party would raise the matter in Parliament.

Basu said the discrepancy took place during the time of Congress as well as the BJP regimes at the centre.

The AAP leader also criticised the centre for transferring the money allocated for TSP to companies like Coal India Ltd and Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDIL) which was in turn used for mining pits.

“In 2017-18, Rs.4.25 crore was given to Coal India in two phases under TSP but a single penny was not spent on that (tribal welfare) purpose. Central government is allocating money meant for tribal welfare to a profit making Public Ltd Company every year for their mining operations,” Basu alleged.

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