Mumbai, Sep 22 (PTI) The Maharashtra government on Tuesday took several measures to give relief to the agitating Marathas, including giving community members benefits meant for EWS, in the light of the Supreme Court staying the implementation of quota in jobs and education for the community.
According to an official statement, the Maharashtra Cabinet also decided to offer jobs in Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation to heirs of those who lost lives during the Maratha quota protests.
It said action will be taken on proposals in this regard within a month of their submission.
The government's decisions came in the light of the Supreme Court earlier this month staying the implementation of the 2018 Maharashtra law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs.
This was followed by community members staging protests on the issue in several parts of the state.
The Maratha community members will get the benefits announced by the government on Tuesday till the Supreme Court vacates the stay on quota, the statement said.
The Maharashtra government on Monday filed an application before the larger bench of Supreme Court, seeking to vacate the apex court's stay on implementing the quota, the statement said.
'The benefits meant for economically weaker section (EWS) will be given to those from socially and economically backward category (SEBC),' the statement said.
The government said the Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Shikshan Shulkh Shishyavrutti Yojana,a scholarship scheme, earlier meant for SEBC students, will now be made applicable to EWS students too.
'The state government has approved Rs 600 crore fund for the current fiscal. Provision will be made if there is a need for additional funds,' the statement said.
Similarly, the Panjabrao Deshmukh Hostel Maintenance Allowance Scheme meant for SEBC students will be applicable to the EWS students, the statement said.
'Rs 80 crore fund has been approved for the same. More funds will be made available if need be,' it added.
The government said substantial funds and manpower will be made available to the SARTHI institute.
The Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) is a non-profit government company for research, policy advocacy, training etc. for socio-economic and education development of Maratha, Kunbi communities and families dependent of agriculture.
'SARTHI has demanded Rs 130 crore fund for the current financial year. Provision will be made if more funds are required,' the statement said.
The statement said financial assistance is being provided to unemployed youth through the Annasaheb Patil Financially Backward Development Corporation, and the capital for its has been increased by Rs 400 crore.
Speaking on the process of withdrawing cases against Maratha quota protesters, the state government said only 26 were pending and action on them will be taken in a month.
Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, PWD Minister Ashok Chavan said the government moved the vacation application before the Supreme Court's larger bench after holding discussions with ministers, opposition leaders, representatives of Maratha outfits and legal experts.
Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, who accompanied Chavan during the press conference, said, 'The chief minister and the cabinet has taken a decision that there will be no shortage of funds. These decisions will give relief to the community.' PTI ENM BNM BNM