NEW DELHI: The Congress in Maharashtra might be accusing the BJP of creating a fear psychosis among the minorities, but the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government at the Centre seems to be performing better than the previous UPA-II when it comes to spending funds allocated for the welfare of minorities.
Contrary to expectations, instead of disbanding the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government has picked up an innovative leadership initiation programme for young Muslim women that was formulated during the UPA regime but was never implemented due to political apathy allied with tardy file movement.
WHAT UPA DID
■ UPA surrendered unallocated funds of Rs 33.63 cr in 2008-09, Rs 31.50 cr in 2009-10, Rs 587.70 cr in 2010-11
■ For digitising Wakf Board records, Rs 89 lakh was spent in 2012-13 and Rs 2.98 cr in 2013-14
■ Nothing spent on State Wakf Boards in 2012-13. In 2013-14, Rs 1.91 cr spent
■ In 2012, 36,950 women benefited as K Rehman spent Rs 10 cr for their welfare
WHAT NDA DID
■ Facilitated the empowerment of 68,675 women at a cost of Rs 13.48 cr in 2014-15
■ Spent the entire allocated amount of Rs 3 crore during 2014-15 on digitalising Wakf Board records
■ Allocated Rs 3,712.78 cr for minority affairs in budget
■ Nai Manzil scheme will help minority youths
■ Spent Rs 3.95 cr out of the allocated Rs 4 cr in 2014-15 on State Wakf Boards
Though the scheme, Nai Roshini, was launched with much fanfare by the UPA in January 2010, the Ministry of Minority Affairs did not spent a single rupee till K Rehman Khan took over as Minister of Minority Affairs in October 2012. A total of 36,950 women benefited under Nai Roshni during 2012-13, with the ministry spending Rs 10 crore. In stark contrast, Minister of Minority Affairs in the NDA, Najma Heptullah, and her deputy Mukthar Abbas Naqvi facilitated the empowerment of 68,675 women at a cost of Rs 13.48 crore under the same scheme during 2014-15.
According to a Parliamentary Standing Committee report, the Ministry of Minority Affairs could not spend funds allocated for ongoing schemes and surrendered Rs 33.63 crore in 2008-09, Rs 31.50 crore in 2009-10 and Rs 587.70 crore in 2010-11 under schemes such as Multi-sectoral Development Programme for Minority Concentration Districts, Pre-matric scholarship Scheme, Merit-cum-means Scholarship Scheme, Post-matric Scholarship Scheme and computerisation of records of State Wakf Boards.
For digitising the Wakf Board records, the UPA spent Rs 89 lakh during 2012-13 against the Revised Estimate of Rs 1.65 crore and Rs 2.98 crore against the Revised Estimate of Rs 3 crore in 2013-14. On the other hand, the NDA Government spent the entire allocated amount of Rs 3 crore during 2014-15.
The UPA in 2013-14, had spent a meagre Rs 1.91 crore from the allocated Rs 7 crore on strengthening State Wakf Boards. The NDA spent Rs 3.95 crore against the revised estimate of Rs 4 crore in 2014-15 for the same.
To help students from madrasas, the NDA has launched Nai Manzil, an integrated education and livelihood initiative targeted at school dropouts and youth educated in community education institutions like madrasas, to enable them to seek better employment in the organised sector.
In the 2015-16 Budget, the NDA Government has allocated Rs 3,712.78 crore to the Ministry of Minority Affairs. Unlike in the case of several other ministries, there was no reduction in the Budget allocations to this ministry this year; instead, there was an increase.