Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the government proposes to grant minority status on the Jains which will ensure the community of 50 lakh certain benefits in government schemes and programmes.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs has moved a cabinet note to recognise the community as a minority at the national level, sources said here.
At present, five religious groups -- Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis -- are notified as minorities.
Once recognised as a minority, Jains would get a share in central funds earmarked for welfare programmes and scholarships for the minorities. They can also manage and administer their own educational institutions.
The community is already enjoying minority status in some states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
Numerically, the Jain community is small, with a population of about 50 lakh but they are prosperous, mostly engaged in business.
Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan said there have been a lot of representations from the community that they be treated as a minority and the government has decided to accept it.
The Ministry had sought the views of Attorney General G E Vahanvati who has given his go-ahead.