New Delhi: Job opportunities for minority communities have gone up considerably in the last three years following a two-pronged strategy adopted by the Centre to encourage them take up government jobs as well provide them resources for self-employment.
According to latest figures by the minority affairs ministry, the number of minority community candidates selected for government jobs has risen from 6.9% in 2006-07 to 9.24% in 2008-09.
A total of 12,182 minority candidates were recruited for government jobs in 2006-07. The following year saw the number marginally increasing to 12,195, which was an increase of 8.32% of the total recruitment, and in 2008-09, the figure rose to 15,172, the report said.
Ministry officials said focus will now be more on creating self-employment opportunities for the community members by extending better credit facilities.
District Consultative Committees (DCCs) of lead banks have been directed to regularly monitor disposal and rejection of loan applications for minority members to ensure that their credit needs are taken care of, they said.
Minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid had recently said the government aims to provide 15% of the priority sector lending to minorities, which is currently pegged at around 8%.
The ministry figures also indicate that credit facilities to them have increased in recent years.
The number of banks being opened up in districts having a substantial minority population has risen to 1,759 in 2009-10 from 523 in 2007-08.
In 2007-08, 523 bank branches were opened in districts with a substantial minority population. In 2008-09, 537 new branches were opened and in 2009-10, 699 new branches were further added.
After the RBI revised its Master Circular in 2007 on priority sector lending for improving credit facilities to minority communities, the loans being extended to them have gone up to over Rs1,00,000 crore in the last financial year, an increase of Rs26,000 crore from 2008-09, the officials said.