Shimla, Jan 22 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government has launched programmes for upliftment of weaker sections and minority communities to ensure their participation in the state's development by providing them opportunities, the government said on Sunday.

The government has constituted Gaddi, Gujjar, Gorkha and Labana welfare boards for socio-economic development of these communities.

It has also increased the annual income limit from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000 so that more eligible persons could be benefited through welfare schemes, an official statement said.

Social security pension has become a source of regular financial support to elders, widows and disabled persons who do not have dependable financial support. The pension to eligible persons in this category has been increased from Rs 450 to Rs 650.

As many as 3,87,000 eligible persons are receiving social security pension with the budget outlay of Rs 35,768.47 lakh in this fiscal.

Persons at the age of 80 and above and persons with 70 per cent disability are being provided Rs 1,200 per month as social security pension, it said.

The government is providing a grant of Rs 75,000 for construction of house to persons belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class category who are having land in their names.

A target of construction of 3,167 houses has been fixed with a provision of Rs 2,368 lakh in the scheme.