Guwahati, Feb 13 (PTI) Union minister Ramdas Athawale today said the Centre wants to provide increased facilities to the North East for uplifting the condition of its Scheduled Tribe population.

Athawale, the union minister of state for social justice and empowerment, acknowledged that the region needs more central funds, more employment avenues for its youths and more industries.

“My ministry wants to help the North East region as it has a large Scheduled Tribe population. We want to give increased facilities such as scholarships to students, venture capital for start-up companies and financial assistance for pilot training,” he said.

Under the venture capital scheme, the Social Justice Ministry provides loans between Rs 20 lakh to 15 crore for limited companies, the minister said.

Athawale said his ministry also gives scholarships ranging from Rs 20 lakh to 60 lakh to SC-ST students’ for studying abroad.

There were 2.68 crore differently abled population in the country and 4.8 lakh of them were in Assam as per the 2011 census, Athawale said adding his ministry provides assistance to them in the form of appliances, wheelchairs and crutches for their rehabilitation.

The union minister also said he held a meeting here during the day on the filling up of job backlogs for SC/ST and OBCs with officials of the Assam government and several central public sector units.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.