Andhra Pradesh allocates Rs.20 mn for Christian pilgrims

February 16th, 2008 - 9:15 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, Feb 16 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh has allotted Rs.20 million to subsidise travel for Christians who want to visit holy sites in Israel, according to the state budget presented here Saturday. Finance minister K. Rosaiah allocated the amount for ‘Christian pilgrimage’ in his budget for 2008-09.

Governor N.D. Tiwari, in his address to the joint budget session of the assembly and the council Monday, announced the government would offer subsidies to Christian pilgrims on the lines of the Haj subsidy for Muslims.

In an attempt to woo minorities before the next year’s elections, the government also allocated R.50 million for conducting mass marriages of poor girls of minorities.

Stating that the government was committed to the welfare of minorities, Rosaiah allocated Rs.50 million for repairs to mosques and churches.

The finance minister also enhanced the overall allocation for minorities’ welfare from Rs.1.2 billion in 2007-08 to Rs.1.77 billion in 2008-09.

Minorities account for about 12 percent of the state’s 77 million population. Off this, Christians account for nearly two percent.

The subsidy for Christian pilgrims is the first of its kind being offered by any state government. Incidentally, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajsekhara Reddy is also a Christian.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |