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Allocation for minority welfare doubled
February 29, 2008 15:55 IST
Welfare of minorities got a boost with the Union Budget doubling the allocation for their welfare and introducing a slew of new schemes.
Presenting the Budget for 2008-09 in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister P Chidambaram announced that the allocation for the ministry of minority affairs has been increased from Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) in 2007-08 to Rs 1,000 crore (Rs Rs 10 billion) in 2008-09.
Apart from this, a multi-sectoral development plan for each of the 90 minority concentration districts will be drawn up a cost of Rs 3,780 crore (Rs 37.8 billion). The allocation in 2008-09 will be Rs 540 crore (Rs 5.4 billion).
A pre-matric scholarship scheme with an allocation of Rs 80 crore (Rs 800 million), a provision of Rs 45.45 crore (Rs 454 million) for modernizing madrasa education, are some of the other schemes announced by the finance minister.
A total of 256 branches of public sector banks have been opened this year until December 2007 in districts with substantial minority population. 288 more will be opened by March 2008.
Chidambaram announced that more candidates belonging to the minority communities will be recruited in the Central Para-Military Forces.