New Delhi, Feb 25 (UNI) Highlighting the Government's initiatives for inclusive growth, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today said the proportion of priority sector lending going to the minority communities would be stepped up from the present nine per cent to 15 per cent.
Addressing the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha at the beginning of the Budget session of Parliament, Ms Patil said certain proportion of the development projects would be located in minority concentration areas and, whereever possible, 15 per cent of targets and outlays under various schems would be earmarked for them.
She said that to improve the economic and educational status of the minorities, several programmes had been launched based on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee Report.
The Prime Minister's New 15-point programme already launched by the government aims at ensuring the benefits of development to these sections, she said.
Ms Patil said the 11th Plan provides Rs 800 crore for Merit-cum-Means based scholarship for professional courses, nearly Rs 3300 crores for post and pre-matric scholarship programmes for minority students and Rs 3780 Crore for the development of 90 minority concentration districts.
''These initiatives are importnat pillars of the architecture of inclusive growth,'' said the President.
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