To earmark 20 per cent of the total target of 85 development schemes for them

In a move aimed at empowering the minorities, especially Muslims, the Samajwadi Party government has decided to earmark 20 per cent of the total target of 85 development schemes for them. These schemes will be implemented by 30departments.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday.

Mr. Yadav told reporters that the decision was taken as, per the 2001 census, minorities constitute 19.33 per cent of the State’s population. The government, he said, was committed to the integrated development of minority communities. In view of the social, educational and economic backwardness of minorities, the government decided to introduce welfare measures to help them tide over their backwardness, he said.

The Chief Minister talked about the Sachar Committee recommendations. According to the Sachar report, 22.7 per cent of the country’s population is poor, with the percentage of Muslims among the poor being the highest. In urban areas, Mr. Yadav said, 38.4 per cent of the minorities, especially Muslims, were backward. This made them more backward than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, he added.

“For bringing the minorities in the mainstream of development it has been decided to earmark 20 per cent of the total target of 85 development schemes for them,” Mr. Yadav said

He said two committees would be constituted to implement and monitor the scheme.