Mohammed Ali Shabbir

Declare ‘Dalit Bandhu’ assistance tax-free, demands Congress

  • Shabbir demands legal sanctity for ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme
  • Congress demands Rs. 10 Lac assistance for all communities

 Hyderabad, August 25: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Wednesday demanded that the State Government declare ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme tax-free.

“Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao is not honest towards the ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme and he only aims to win Huzurabad by-elections by duping the Dalit community. The TRS Government did not take legal precautions to ensure that this scheme is implemented without any hurdles. Any income above Rs. 5 lakh is taxable. Therefore, all the beneficiaries of Dalit Bandhu will get notices from the IT Department after they receive Rs. 10 lakh and they will be forced to pay 15% Income Tax,” Shabbir Ali said in a media statement today.

Shabbir Ali demanded that the State Government approach the Centre seeking IT exemption for the scheme. “We demand that both the Centre and State declare Dalit Bandhu tax-free and the beneficiaries should get the entire amount of Rs. 10 lakh without any deductions,” he said.

The Congress leader said that the State Government has released Rs. 1207 Crore towards the Dalit Bandhu scheme without issuing the detailed guidelines. “CM KCR is only giving vague figures of intended beneficiaries. At one time he said 12 lakhs of 17 lakh Dalit families will be eligible and later, he announced that all 17 lakh families will be given Rs. 10 lakh each. So far, the amount has been released only for nearly 20,000 beneficiaries while only 15 people were actually handed over the cheques. The same trick was used for the 2BHK scheme. A few units were constructed and they were used as posters to lure voters. CM KCR should specify how he plans to mobilise Rs. 1.70 lakh crore, along with a deadline, to implement the scheme across the State,” he demanded.

“The State Government should clarify on eligibility criteria. CM KCR must tell who is eligible? All Dalits or only poor Dalits with White Ration Card? Or only Dalits of the Huzurabad constituency or other constituencies facing by-elections? CM KCR should make it clear, in writing, that all Dalits taking the benefit of Dalit Bandhu will continue to get other benefits like White Ration Cards, 2BHK houses, 3-acre land, monthly Aasra Pension, Scholarships, Aarogyasri and all other benefits,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said that the scheme should be extended to Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes, Minorities, Economically Weaker Sections and all other poor families. “The Right to Equality is a Fundamental Right guaranteed by the Constitutions of India. Article 15 of the Constitution says that the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them. Therefore, people belonging to other communities are also eligible to get the same benefits as Dalits if they meet the criteria,” he said.

He said that the Congress party would fight through all possible means to ensure that all eligible Dalit families get Rs. 10 lakh each promised by the State Government under ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme. Further, the Congress party would pressurise the government to extend the same benefits to STs, BCs, Minorities, EWS and other weaker sections.

Shabbir Ali also congratulated the Muslim community on the occasion of ‘Muslim Reservation Day’ (August 25). He recalled that the Congress party initiated the process to give quota in jobs and education to Muslims exactly 27 years ago. “On August 25, 1994, the then Congress Government had issued GO MS No. 30 to provide reservations to 14 Castes including Muslims. Although it could not be implemented immediately after Congress party lost 1994 elections. But in 2004, within 58 days after coming to power, the then Congress Govt implemented 5% Muslim reservation and then reduced it to 4% on High Court’s order. Nearly 20 lakh poor Muslims in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh benefitted from the 4% quota in the last 16-17 years,” he claimed.

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