New Delhi: With competitive populism becoming the template for the election campaign, the Congress dispensation in the Centre embarked on a bold gambit by increasing the compensation for the members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes communities who face the atrocities 150 percent.

With the introduction of this, the present range of compensation from Rs 20,000 - Rs 250,000 has been raised to Rs 50,000-500,000
Interestingly, the centre issued the notification on December 23, 2010 and implemented the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe, Prevention of Atrocities Rules (Amendments) 2011a day before the Election Commission declared elections in five states.

The compensation money paid to the members of SC/ST community or their family members and dependents increases with the nature of atrocities inflicted upon them.
In case of an earning member death the compensation has been increased from Rs 200,000 to Rs 500,000 while for non earning member the amount has been raised to Rs 250,000 from existing Rs 100,000. In case of atrocity against women, an amount of Rs 50,000 will be provided. Earlier it was Rs 20,000 only.

This is the first time the government has raised the scale of compensation under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, which was laid down in 1995.
Welcoming the decision, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik told the government is committed for development of most disadvantaged sections of the society.

"The rules about grant of relief amount to the victims were not amended since its initiation. The demand to increase the compensation money was overdue and it is a welcome measure," Wasnik said.