The government has decided to remove the income ceiling of Rs 5 lakh per annum for a grant of Rs 2.5 lakh to couples where either the bride or the bridegroom is a Dalit and will now extend the benefit irrespective of the income level, the Indian Express has reported.
Under the ‘Dr Ambedkar Scheme For Social Integration Through Inter Caste Marriage’, launched in 2013, the government had aimed to incentivise at least 500 such inter-caste marriage per year with a Rs 2.5 lakh one-time grant, but with an annual income ceiling of Rs 5 lakh for the couple.
To be eligible for the grant, the bride or the bridegroom will be required to prove that it is their first marriage and is registered under the Hindu Marriages Act. The proposal for the grant needs to be submitted within a year of marriage. The couples will have to submit their Aadhar numbers and the Aadhar-linked joint bank account to be eligible for the scheme.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment decided to do away with the income ceiling as many states already have such schemes without a ceiling.
However, the implementation of the scheme has been very poor. Only 79 marriages have been cleared in 2017. One reason behind the poor implementation is that the proposal needs to be recommended by an MP, MLA, or District Collector.
“Awareness about the scheme is very low, most of the proposals come from a few states such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharastra,” said an official.