Bhubaneswar: In order to encourage more and more people to opt for inter-caste marriage, the Odisha government today doubled the cash incentive for such marriages from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, official sources said.
The amount would be given to the couple irrespective of their economic status and the money should be used to purchase land or household articles, an official stated.
“The State government has decided to hike the cash incentive for inter-caste marriages keeping the current situation in mind,” said Surendra Kumar, Secretary to the state’s ST & SC development, minorities & backward classes welfare department.
Odisha had last time increased the amount from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 in 2007.
A marriage in which one of the spouses belonged to the Scheduled Caste and the other belonged to a non-Scheduled Caste would be considered for the incentive.
According to the rule, the couple shall have to apply for sanction and will have to execute a bond.
The couple has to refund the amount within a year if the marriage ends in divorce within five years, sources said.
Worth mentioning, the proposal to encourage inter-caste marriages was first discussed in the meeting of the Scheduled Caste Welfare Advisory board in June 2015 under the chairmanship of chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
Official sources said at least 17% of Odisha’s population are Dalits.
There are many states which are offering the cash incentive to promote inter-caste marriages to eradicate untouchability. Rajasthan is the only state which gives a hefty Rs 5 lakh for inter-caste couples.