The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday approved a plan under which 20% of the funds for various government schemes will be reserved exclusively for the welfare of the minorities in the state.
The minorities will now get 20% share of the funds allocated for 85 government schemes in 30 government departments.
This concession will apply to the areas 25% of whose population comprises minorities. The reserved funds will be spent on construction of road links, installation of hand pumps and other such activities.
The cabinet also decided to earmark 20% of the subsidies to be paid to the beneficiaries of direct benefit transfer program for the minorities besides 20% of the money spent on funding subsidised housing for the poor, Kanya Vidya Dhan (scheme providing monetary assistance for the education of girls) and various pension schemes.
Minister for minority welfare Mohammad Azam Khan skipped the cabinet meet. The proposal cleared on Tuesday had been deferred earlier due to his absence.
The decision, described by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav as one more step in implementing Samajwadi Party's 2012 poll manifesto, is seen as move to cement the minority vote bank. He said his government would pressurise the Centre to implement the Sachar Committee and Rangnath Mishra Commission reports that have suggested measures for the uplift of dminorities in the country.