Kolkata, April 9 (IANS) With an eye on next year's panchayat polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday announced several sops, including loans and recognition of 10,000 madrassas, for the state's Muslim community.
"Today, we will provide loans and stipends to 75,000 students. Last year, about 52,000 students were given loans and stipends. From this district alone, one lakh twenty thousand minority students have been given loans and stipends.
"In the state budget as well, we have increased monetary support to the minorities department by 76 percent," Banerjee said while addressing a programme organised by the West Bengal Minority Development and Finance Corporation at Barasat in North 24 Parganas.
Muslims comprise 26 percent of the electorate in the state.
Banerjee added that the state government would give official recognition to 10,000 madrassas, or Islamic seminaries, across the state.
"We want prosperity and overall development of minorities in the state. Within the next three years, we want to create a new Bengal where no one will be landless. We will create a new employment bank in the state. The employment bank will have separate cells according to education qualifications and requirement. In every district there will be a system to enrol names," she said.
Banerjee said the state government is keen to renovate the sports infrastructure of the district.
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