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Posted On : 17 Aug, 2017  Source : IANS  Place : Bhubaneswar 
Odisha enhances cash award for inter-caste marriage
In order to encourage more inter-caste marriages, the Odisha government on Thursday doubled the cash incentive for such marriages from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

The amount would be given irrespective of the economic status of the marrying couple and has to be used to purchase land or household articles, said an official.

"The state government has decided to hike the cash incentive for inter-caste marriages keeping the current situation in mind. The monetary assistance will be provided to men and women who opt to marry outside their caste," said SC and ST Development Secretary Surendra Kumar.

The cash incentive has been announced to encourage inter-caste marriage for the purpose of eradication of untouchability, he added.

The state government had raised the amount last time to Rs 50,000 from Rs 10,000 in 2007.

As per the norms, 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, said an official.

The proposal of enhancement of cash award to the couple of inter-caste marriage solemnized between the scheduled caste belonging to the Hindu community and other caste Hindu was under consideration of the government for some time past.

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.