Move to encourage entrepreneurship among minorities

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) The government Thursday approved an increase of Rs.5,000 crore in the authorised share capital of a state-controlled finance corporation to encourage entrepreneurship among the minorities.

The capital of the National Minorities Development Finance Corporation (NMDFC) has been raised to Rs.1,500 crore from Rs.1,000 crore, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni told reporters here, after the cabinet took the decision.

In the increased capital, the share of central government will be be Rs.975 crore, of state governments Rs.390 crore and of individuals and institutions Rs.135 crore.

The NMDFC is a state-controlled non-profit company and provides financial assistance to people from the minority communities below the poverty line to encourage employment among them.

The hike in the share capital share of the corporation comes in the backdrop of the government’s initiatives for economic development of the minorities after the recommendations of the Sachar Committee that highlighted the backwardness of Muslims and other minorities in India.

‘The equity contribution from the central government together with contribution from state governments and individuals and institutions and also the recovery of loans from beneficiaries will be spent for providing term loans and micro finance through state channelising agencies (SCAs) and for providing micro finance through NGOs,’ the minister said.

The minority affairs ministry said the government was striving to provide minorities better credit facilities and financial assistance.

India is home to the third largest Muslim population in the world.

Of the country’s 1.2 billion population, Muslims are the largest minority at 14 percent followed by Christians at 2.3 percent, Sikhs at 1.9 percent, Buddhists at 0.8 percent, Jains at 0.4 percent and others, including Parsis, at 0.6 percent.

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