Minorities get a bigger share in the budget allocation

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) The General Budget 2008-09 saw a steep rise in the allocation for the welfare schemes meant for the minorities to Rs 1,000 crore from Rs 500 crore.

''A multi-sectoral development plan for each of the 90 minority concentration districts will be drawn up at a cost of Rs 3,780 crore.

The allocation in 2008-09 will be Rs 540 crore,'' Finance Minister P Chidambaram said while presenting the Budget in the Lok Sabha today.

A pre-matric scholarship scheme with an allocation of Rs 80 crore and Rs 45.45 crore will be provided for modernizing Madrassa education in 2008-09, he added.

He asserted, ''256 branches of public sector banks have already been opened this year until December 2007 in districts with substantial minority population and 288 more will be opened by next year.'' Also, more candidates from the minority community will be recruited to the Central Para-Military Forces, he assured.

UNI PDT RR SSC1448

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