Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announced waiver of all the loans up to Rs 50,000, in a phased manner, given to SCs and the economically weaker sections by the State Schedule Caste Corporation and the State Backward Classes Corporation.
Making this announcement in the state Assembly, Amarinder said his government, which had already announced a series of benefits for Dalits, SCs and backward classes in matters of jobs and reservation in allotment of houses etc, was further committed to filling all vacant posts of SCs in government in a time-bound manner to clear the backlog.
The government was also in the process of refining financial benefits to SCs, OBCs and minorities under the schemes such as Ashirwad, Post-Matric Scholarship, provision of loans under Venture Capital Fund and the Atta-Dal scheme, he said, adding that some of the decisions on these will be announced in the budget.
Enhancements in Shagun and Ashirward scheme amounts, which were last increased during his previous tenure, will also be announced in the budget, he said, adding that the benefits provided by the state government to SCs and OBCs, including free electricity, pension, loan waiver, scholarship, will be extended to poor Christian and Muslim families. The government will also allocate suitable land for burial grounds for Muslims and Christians.
Considering this move by the Congress led government in Punjab at this point when BJP has announced its presidential candidate a Dalit, we need to wait and see how the Congress will take shots at the center during the upcoming presidential elections.