Social justice milestones

Print edition : March 24, 2006

Benefits reach all vulnerable sections of society. - BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

All sections are part of the development agenda.

THE State government is keen on ensuring that the benefits of growth percolate to the weaker sections. There have been a number of incentives and concessions given to farmers who constitute the bulk of the State's population. The government has also ensured that the benefits reach the Scheduled Castes and other backward classes, women and youth.

An allowance for senior citizens at the rate of Rs.300 a month will be disbursed through panchayats. For Deepavali the allowance was hiked to Rs.600. The monthly pension for the physically disabled has been increased from Rs.300 to Rs.600. The Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Vivah Shagun Yojana was launched to provide financial assistance of Rs.15,000 for the economically backward, especially those among the S.Cs. This has been given primarily to help them meet the marriage expenses of the girls.

The government has evolved educational as well as socio-economic strategies for the uplift of weaker sections. It plans to provide a loan of Rs.5 lakhs to any person belonging to the S.C. community at an interest rate of 5 per cent for the purchase of two acres of land. The loan amount for those living below the poverty line is Rs.1 lakh, at an interest rate of 3 per cent. The government is firm in its commitment to implement fully the reservation policy in government jobs. Similar is its commitment to implement the Constitution (85th) Amendment that provides for reservations in promotions.

The government plans to provide interest-free loans for the higher studies of youth belonging to the S.C. community. Undergraduate students would be given Rs.2,000 a year instead of the present Rs.800. Those studying post-graduate and other higher courses would get Rs.4,000 and students in technical and vocational degree courses would get Rs.6,000. These decisions are expected to benefit at least 1.2 lakh students in the State. It is evident from these policy measures that the government is serious about ensuring social justice.

The government has provided for a special allowance of Rs.200 to the safai karamcharis working in government and public sector institutions. The financial assistance given to the S.C. and S.T. communities for construction of dwelling units has been raised from Rs.10,000 to Rs.25,000. Special housing schemes have been floated with loans at low interest rates. Under the Dr. Ambedkar Meritorious Students Scholarship Scheme, scholarships are offered to talented students from weaker sections. Students scoring 60 per cent or above in matriculation examinations would be given a scholarship of Rs.1,000 a month for Class XI and Class XII.

The government has introduced an allowance scheme for the educated unemployed in the State. Those who have passed Class XII from the government-recognised institutions or have done a two-year diploma or certificate course will get Rs.300 a month as unemployment allowance. For graduates and those with higher qualifications, the allowance would be Rs.500 a month. The allowance would be distributed through nominated banks.

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