Global economic slump has hit SC/ST welfare projects: Minister

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The economic slowdown, currently witnessed across the country and the world, has had its impact on various projects that the state government is implementing for the welfare of the people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, minister A K Balan told the House on Wednesday.

The minister, while replying to a query by Thiruvanchoor Radhadkrishnan of the Congress, admitted that the work on ‘Ambedkar Gramam’ colonies has been severely affected due to fund crunch.

Among the Scheduled Caste colonies, the work on only 29 of the 309 colonies have been completed since the LDF government assumed office. Steps will be be taken to complete the remaining work at the earliest, he said. Of the 204 Scheduled Caste colonies, the work on 162 colonies have been completed by the present government, Balan said.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the government cannot cite fund crunch in a crucial department like SC/ST welfare as it dealt with the weaker sections of society.

However, Chennithala’s statement that work has not started on any of the colonies under the Ambedkar Gramam project faced fierce objection from MLAs of the ruling party.

Meanwhile, in a written reply, the government said it had sanctioned works worth `1 crore in each colony selected under the Ambedkar Gramam project in 2016-17. In the current fiscal, sanction has been accorded for works worth `50 lakh in each colony, the reply stated.

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