30 pc funds to be used for SC welfare: Punjab CM

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Chandigarh, Apr 14 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said his government will spend at least 30 per cent of funds under all schemes for the welfare of the state's Scheduled Caste population.

Paying floral tributes to the architect of the Indian Constitution, BR Ambedkar, on his 130th birth anniversary, at a virtual state-level event, Singh also announced filling up of the SC vacancy backlog in all departments on priority, while promising to explore a post-matric overseas scholarship scheme for SC students.

The chief minister further announced a special Rs 500 crore rural link roads project for Financial year 2021-22.

The project will encompass construction of new link roads to the 'bastis' of Scheduled Castes and other poorer sections of the society, which do not currently have road connectivity. 'Shamshan ghats' and places of worship will also be connected through the project.

A special allocation of Rs 100 crore is proposed in 2021-22 for modernisation of villages having more than 50 per cent of SC population, he said, adding that this was aimed at providing further impetus to existing grants in the villages having SC population greater than or equal to 50 per cent of the total population.

Smartphones will be given to all class 12 SC students in government schools, while to motivate people to take up dairy farming, 150 village-level awareness camps and training at nine Training and Extension Centres will be conducted, with special emphasis on Scheduled Caste beneficiaries, he was quoted as saying in an official statement here.

The chief minister further announced that his government also proposes to provide 30 per cent reservation for SC applicants in villages under the 'Har Ghar Pakki Chhat' scheme, and also 30 per cent in the affordable housing scheme for Economically Weaker Section (EWS).

His government also plans to set up a B.R. Ambedkar Institute of Training at Jalandhar for competitive exams, including Civil Services.

It will have 50 per cent seat reservation for candidates belonging to SC families. Other projects planned include BR Ambedkar museum and BR Ambedkar Institute of Management in PTU Campus, Kapurthala, Singh added. PTI CHS VSD KJ