Higher Education Minister V.S. Acharya said on Saturday that the State government had provided Rs. 250 crore for promoting tourism in the State.

He was speaking after handing over the keys of 27 taxis to unemployed Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes at a function organised by the Department of Tourism here. Of the 27 members, 20 are Scheduled Castes and seven are Scheduled Tribes. Each received a Tata Indica taxi worth Rs. 3.59 lakh. While the government's contribution is 50 per cent of the cost, the remaining is loan made available to the beneficiaries at 9.5 per cent interest by the State Bank of Mysore.

The beneficiaries have to bear five per cent cost of the taxi under the scheme.

Raghupati Bhat, MLA, president of the ZP K. Shankar Poojary, Additional Deputy Commissioner T.M. Prabhakar and officer of State Bank of Mysore Narasimha Bhat were present.