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Khurshid blames states for under-utilizing minority funds

Saturday March 26, 2011 02:50:21 PM, & Agencies

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New Delhi: While addressing the concerns shown by the Members in both the house of the Parliament, Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on the last day of the budget session Friday strongly defended the government's commitment for the welfare of the minorities but  blamed the state government for under-utilizing the funds.


"Under the Prime Minister's 15-point programme, 15 per cent of the development funds is set aside for the minorities. Therefore, it is absolutely wrong to say that we are not doing anything for the welfare of the minorities", Khurshid said in the Lok Sabha March 25 while replying to the discussion on 'Need to Uplift the Socio-Economic and Educational Status of Minorities in the Country'.


Stating that the government is sending funds for minorities regularly but they are not being utilized by the states he said, “We have sent a sum of Rs.1000 crore to Uttar Pradesh. But this fund has not been properly utilized so far."


Khurshid urged the states to increase their absorbing capacity as the centre is ready to increase the allocations and targets.


“The government provided 37 lakh scholarships against the target of 20 lakh scholarships. I would, therefore, say that the states should increase their absorbing capacity. We are ready to provide funds, we only want that funds should be spent properly.”


Urging the members to monitor the implementation of the Prime Minister's 15-Point Program in their respective constituencies, Khurshid said, “Your participation and monitoring is needed (for proper implementation of) the 15-point programme. I therefore request the active participation of all the members in this regard."


Salman Khurshid, however, rejected the idea mooted by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisee for having a sub-plan for the minorities in line with the SCs and STs stating that the program is not successful.

"Some members asked why shouldn't we have a sub-plan for minorities on the same line that we have for tribals and SCs. We don't consider it because it has not been very successful. We formulated 15-point program instead and if implemented properly, it would be more effective", he said.


On Asaduddin Owaisi’s suggestion that the number of minority concentration districts should be increased by decreasing the limit of 25% minority population criteria, Khurshid said that the government would consider the suggestion. He, however, said that the criteria of 25% was used to cover North India where minorities are more backward than others.






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Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in a meeting with the Imam-e-Haram, Makkahtul Mukerrema, Fazilatus Shaikh Dr. Abdur Rahman Abdul Aziz al Sudais, in New Delhi on March 24, 2011. Dr Sudais is in India on a historic three day visit.

(Photo: Shivraj



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