2,000 taxis will be distributed with Rs. 2 lakh subsidy, says Minister

Municipal Administration and Minorities Affairs Minister Qamar-ul-Islam has said that the State government has, in a major policy decision, decided that all benefits being given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will henceforth be extended to minorities and backward classes too.

As a first step, the government has cleared a proposal for sanctioning taxis through the Tourism Department to beneficiaries from minority community from this year.

Mr. Qamar-ul-Islam told presspersons here on Monday that 2,000 taxis will be distributed to minority community members with Rs. 2 lakh subsidy for each vehicle, and the balance amount will be the loan component to be paid by the beneficiary.

So far, only Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were getting this benefit.

He said that agricultural land would be granted to landless beneficiaries belonging to minority communities and backward classes this year.

Such land would be provided irrigation facility and electricity connections, he said.

Scholarship

A sum of Rs. 156 crore was available for providing scholarship to pre- and post-matriculation students from minority communities.

This fund will be used to provide financial assistance to minority students for their higher studies and coaching for competitive examinations, he said.

To a question, he said that till the September 30, 7.60 lakh applications have been received for pre- and post-matriculation scholarship and this is likely to go up as the last date for sending applications has been extended to October 10.

Shortfall in utilisation

He said that he has explained to Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara the reasons for the shortfall in the utilisation of funds released in the first two quarters and “Dr. Parameshwara, after hearing the clarification, was convinced and also appreciated my performance in the Ministry”.

Admitting the fact that there was some shortfall in the utilisation of funds in the first two quarters released by the government for minority development activities, he said that the shortfall was mainly due to non-release of funds for taking up the construction of shadi mahals and development of burial grounds of minorities.

“We wanted to introduce transparent practices in the selection as well release of funds to avert their misuse,” he said.

Another reason for non-utilisation of funds for shadi mahals and burial grounds was the delay in getting proposals from legislators concerned, he said.

Mr. Qamar-ul-Islam said that all legislators who have not submitted their proposals have been told to submit them before October 10 to enable the Ministry to process and clear them for release of funds.

The Minister said that by the end of the second quarter, all allocated funds would be utilised and utilisation certificates would be submitted for release of funds for the third quarter of the financial year.

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