NEW DELHI: The Centre has increased the budgetary allocation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) by 41 per cent, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot has said, adding that empowerment of the classes is the priority of the government.
There has been an increase of 12.10 per cent—from Rs 6,908 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 7,750 crore in 2018-19—in the budget allocation for the ministry.
The allocation for the welfare of OBCs has been hiked by 41.03 per cent—from Rs 1,237.30 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 1,747 crore in 2018-19, Gehlot said. “There is an increase of 11.57 per cent in the budget for schemes in 2018-19 over 2017-18,” he added.
Addressing a press conference on what the recently presented Union Budget 2018-2019 means for the ministry, he said a new venture capital fund for OBCs on the lines of the venture capital fund for Scheduled Castes will be launched with an initial corpus of Rs 200 crore. Rs 140 crore has been earmarked for it in 2018-19.
The minister also pointed out that for a pre-matric scholarship for OBCs, the income eligibility has been increased from Rs 44,500 to Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.
He said that for a pre-matric scholarship for SCs, the income eligibility has been raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh.
“For free coaching for SC and OBC students, the income eligibility has been raised from Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.
The stipend has been increased from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 for local students and from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 for outstation students,” the minister said.
12% increase, from H6,908 crore in 2017-18 to H7,750 crore in 2018-19
41.03% hike in overall allocations for the welfare of OBCs in 2018-19
B5,000 stipend for outstation students, up from H3,000