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Inter-ministerial task force for minorities

Centre has decided to set up an inter-ministerial task force for execution of programmes aimed at welfare of minorities across the country.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2007 16:29 IST

Ahead of assembly elections in some states, the Congress-led Centre has decided to set up an inter-ministerial task force headed by a member of the Planning Commission for execution of programmes aimed at welfare of minorities across the country.

A source close to Union Minority Affairs Minister AR Antulay said the proposed task force would also work out a policy that would be effective in view of the nationwide distribution of the minority population.

The move is part of an ongoing compilation of religion-based population statistics to ensure funds sanctioned for minorities reached the targeted sections.

"Once this mapping is over, there will be a need to execute minority programmes and for this purpose the ministry has decided to set up an inter-ministerial task force headed by a Planning Commission member to look into policy implication of minority population and suggest remedial steps in housing, education, health and civic facilities to improve living and employment conditions for minorities," the source said.

Eight of the nine ministeries involved in the Prime Minister's 15-point programme for minorities have also fixed 15 per cent of targets and outlays under different schemes for minority groups, the source said.

"We are awaiting the response from the Finance Ministry to our request regarding credit facility targets vis-a-vis minorities," he added.

The ministry, the source said, has also sent its proposals to the Planning Commission over moves to earmark Rs 110 bn for minority development in the 11th Plan.