Rs 50 cr for Xian minorities, but needy unaware

District branch of Karnataka Minority Devpt Corporation recieves Rs 2.45 crore

With a view of development of Christian minorities in Karnataka, the State government for the very first time has allotted a special fund of Rs 50 crore for the year 2011-12.

The fund has been allotted to develop church buildings, educate the poor students and generate employment opportunities for the youth. However, several minorities pose a frown as the funds have not yet reached their hands even when the financial year is nearing its end.

Of these 50 crores, Rs 15 crores has been granted to the Karnataka Minority Development Corporation and the DK district branch of this Corporation has received Rs 2.45 crores.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation District Manager Somappa says that 1,766 Christian beneficiaries will receive benefits under various schemes. Under the Shramashakthi scheme, 400 people have already been identified to receive Rs 1 crore. Shramaskakthi which helps people with small business will allot Rs 25,000 for one person, of this 25 per cent will be given as subsidy and 75 per cent as loan to be returned with four per cent interest in three years.

Under the Micro Credit scheme, 126 members will receive Rs 12.60 lakhs. Micro credit which helps Self Help groups will grant Rs 10,000 and out of this, Rs 2,500 will be allotted as subsidy and Rs 7,500 as loan.

Under the Arivu Scheme which helps students, 14 members have been selected to receive Rs 4.02 lakhs. The loan should be returned with two per cent interest.

“We have received only 540 applications, to whom we are granting benefits worth Rs 1.16 crores. As many as 1,226 beneficiaries can still apply for the schemes. However, we can see severe shortfall of applicants. One of the reasons could be that the Christains have already applied for schemes under the general schemes reserved for minorities under the corporation,” he says and adds that the deadline to receive applications has been extended to March 10.

DK District Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Department Manager G Parameshwara Poojary says that Rs 45 lakhs has been allotted as a scholarship incentive for Christian students and Rs 18 lakhs for Christian nursing trainees. The applications have been called-for and the funds have yet to be disbursed, he adds.

“Backward classes and minorities are more exposed to socio-economic constraints. The government is taking special care of these through the directorate of Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Department and Minority Department and Karnataka Minority Development Corporation. Minorities have to make the best use of the assistance provided to them,” says DK ZP CEO Dr K N Vijayprakash.

“We really appreciate the good-will shown by the government towards the Christian minorities. However, so far nothing has happened. We had been asked to apply for various projects. However, we have received no information about allotments nor the funds,” regrets Mangalore Bishop Rev Fr Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza.

Karnataka State Minority Commission Chairman Anwar Manipady says that the selection process of the beneficiaries is going on in the State. A state committee of 13 members headed by the Chief Minister was formed to decide the allotment of funds. The funds will be released to them before the financial year end, he says.

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