The State government will allocate 30 to 40 acres land to women Self Help Groups (SHGs) for encouraging entrepreneurship among women, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy stated here on Friday.

Addressing a public meeting organised as part of ‘Amma Hasthan’ programme, he said the government would also introduce special schemes for the benefit of backward classes and minorities.

He stated that women SHGs would be given Rs. 13,000 crore interest-free financial assistance this year as a measure towards helping them grow as entrepreneurs. Women would be a force to reckon with in the society in the days to come as 50 per cent seats in local and municipal bodies would be represented by them. Their strength in Parliament would also rise to one-third if an Act was made before the next elections, he said.

Stating that the State was facing a precarious financial situation when he took over the reigns, the Chief Minister said he had been trying to bring transparency in all welfare and development schemes by addressing lapses. His government had paid dues in fee reimbursement, scholarships, pavala vaddi loans to farmers and others after streamlining the finances, he noted. Criticising the TDP for claiming to be champions of BCs and minorities, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said his government had allocated Rs. 4,027 crore for BCs this year against Rs. 158 crore in 2003-04. Similarly, they had allocated Rs. 1,027 crore for minorities this year against Rs. 36 crore by TDP in its last year of rule.