The need for focusing on the concerns of the most disadvantaged sections of population has remained at the core of development planning in India since early 1950s. Planning and budgetary strategies for disadvantaged and excluded groups such as the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), religious minorities and women are discussed in this piece. Since 1970s, the Planning Commission has initiated several measures to provide policy-driven benefits to SCs, STs, religious minorities and women. The provision of policy-driven benefits includes earmarking funds and physical benefits exclusively for them in the Union and State Budgets. This contrasts with the earlier approach that relied solely upon “incidental” benefits flowing from various government interventions.