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Minority schemes to continue sans funds

Thursday, 10 July 2014 - 10:56pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government has continued all the schemes related to minority welfare, even raised the allocations from Rs. 3130.84 crore which the UPA had allocated in 2013-14 to Rs. 3734.01 crore in the current Budget tabled in the Parliament on Thursday. But what has raised concern is that key centrally funded and executed schemes have been re-christened as centrally sponsored schemes, which means they will be executed by the state governments. While a large component will be funded by the central government, the states will also be mandated to pool their share.

The multi-sectoral development programme for minorities aimed to address the development deficits In the minority concentrated blocks/towns/clusters  has been allocated Rs. 1232 crore in the Union Budget.  But the scheme, which was a central scheme has now been shifted to the states for execution.  Taking to dna Hyderabad MP Asasadudin Owasi feared the scheme will remain un-implemented, because the cash  starved states would not be able to chip in their share. In the country, even the police modernisation project among other centrally sponsored schemes is suffering, just because states are not able to pool their share.

Launched in in 2007-08, the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MMA) organically launched the MSDP in 90 Minority-Concentration Districts (MCDs) to address development deficits related to housing, health, anganwadi, school infrastructure, drinking water, to improve literacy and improve standards of women. Noticing it was proving a failure on the ground, because local administration was diverting these central funds to other areas, the MMA had identified block rather a district a unit for its implementation.

Grants in aid for Maulana Azad Education Founation have been decreased from Rs. 160 crore to Rs. 113 crore.  The Budget has, however, increased allocation from Rs, 242 crore to 302 crore for merit-cum means scholarship for professional and technical courses for undergraduate and post graduate level. The development schemes for minorities including publicity has not been given any grant against Rs. 31.05 crore allocated earlier.

Buried deep in Budget papers under the allocation provided to Ministry of Human Resources Development, it appears the scheme to appoint language teachers has been abandoned. No allocation have been provided on this head, which means the central government will not provide funds for the appointment of Urdu teachers.  Schemes for providing quality education in madrassas, and development of infrastructure in minority institutions have been left blank, with no allocations.  The Haj subsidy will now be Rs. 550 crore against Rs. 690 crore in 2013-14. Majority of Muslim leaders have been pleading its discontinuance and diverting these funds to raise education and social standards of the community.

The government, however, has introduced another Rs. 100 crore scheme on modernization of Madarasas. Also a programme for the upgrading of skills and training in ancestral arts for development of minorities called “upgrading of traditional skills in arts, resources and goods” wold be launched to preserve the traditional arts and crafts like brassware in Moradabad etc, having a rich heritage. 




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