Bhubaneswar, Aug 17 (PTI) The Odisha government, in an effort to encourage inter-caste marriages, today announced that the cash incentive for persons performing inter-caste marriages would be doubled to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 50,000. Also Read - Fighting Covid-19: Odisha Makes it Mandatory for People to Cover Nose, Mouth While Going Out of Houses

According to the SC/ST development, minorities & backward classes welfare department secretary S Kumar, the cash incentives would be given irrespective of the economic status of the marrying couple. Also Read - Hockey India to Donate Proceeds From Tickets Sales of Hockey Series Finals to Odisha Govt

The couple could use the cash to purchase land or buy household articles, he said. Also Read - PM Modi Says Odisha Government Did Not Cooperate With Centre on Development

The state government had increased the amount to Rs 50,000 from Rs 10,000 in 2007, he added.

He said since dalits comprise 17 per cent of the state’s population and the tribals comprise 22 per cent, such cash incentive may help to subside the conflict over inter-caste marriages.

A couple will have to apply for a sanction of the grant and execute a bond in order to avail the opportunity.

The recipients will have to refund the entire amount within a year in case the marriage ends in divorce within five years.

Sources said as many as 4100 couples have availed the cash incentive facility between 2010 and 2016.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.