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Rajasthan revives minorities’ cluster plan

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The Congress-led Government in Rajasthan on Wednesday revived the Minorities Cluster Development Programme of the National Minorities Development and Financial Corporation discontinued by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party regime in the State.

The State Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will shortly sanction Rs.1.50 crore each to Tonk and Sikar districts for providing loan facility to the people belonging to minority communities mostly for their self-employment ventures.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot approved a proposal of the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramkishore Saini, for re-starting the programme aimed at bringing the religious minorities to the mainstream of development.

The NMDFC had selected 338 urban areas in 24 States of the country while launching the Minorities Cluster Development Programme during 2008-09. Tonk and Sikar districts of Rajasthan with a significant population of Muslims were among these urban areas.

According to official sources, the NMDFC had identified the minority-dominated urban areas across the country on the basis of the 2001 Census. Sources here pointed out that Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Madan Dilawar in the previous BJP-led Government headed by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had stopped implementation of the programme on his own. Ms. Raje did not show any interest in re-starting the programme.

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