ASCDC misses out on SC development fund
By A Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 20 — The National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), an organisation under the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, sanctioned Rs 689.64 lakh during the last financial year for the benefit of the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people of Assam. However, the benefit missed the State’s scheduled castes due to the failure of the Assam State Development Corporation for SCs Ltd (ASCDC) to avail the available funds. According to NSFDC sources, out of the sanctioned amount, the disbursement was to the tune of Rs 556.41 lakh as term loan for various income generating activities by poor SCs and STs. In addition, Rs 35.59 lakh was also released under the micro-credit finance scheme. The entire sanction and disbursement was made to the Assam Plains Tribes Development Corporation Ltd (APTDC) as the ASCDC did not avail any sanction or disbursement from NSFDC during 2000-01.
The NSFDC’s financial assistance at concessional interest rates is routed through the state SC and ST corporations that are called the state channelising agencies (SCA) and nominated by the state governments. In Assam, the APTDC and ASCDC are the two SCAs. The sources said that during the current financial year, NSFDC also sanctioned Rs 3.71 lakh as grant in Assam. The grant was meant for skill development programmes for ST candidates in various trades like poultry management, construction services, repairing, etc. Some 90 ST youths were trained under this programme and they were paid stipends of Rs 600 a month during their training. In order to facilitate computerisation of operations, the NSFDC extends financial assistance to SCAs in the form of grants on demand.