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Post-Sachar evaluation committee misses deadline
Slow pace with which the committee is working may result in making the committee's work redundant
Tuesday December 31, 2013 7:02 PM, Hena Farhat, ummid.com

The Post-Sachar evaluation committee formed to review implementation of Sachar Committee's recommendations made for empowerment of the Muslims in India is all set to miss the December deadline for submission of its preliminary report. Worst, though the committee has been given new deadline to submit the priliminary report in January, it has done little work so far, one of the committee members said while talking to ummid.com.

The member said that the committee, headed by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) economist Prof. Amitabh Kundu, is marred by long delays and financial constrain ever since its formation.

"First, for about seven months, Ministry of Minority Affairs did not release the necessary funds for the members to begin their work. After much persuasion, the ministry released only 17 lakh – an amount which was hardly sufficient to meet the travelling expenses", the committee member said.

"It was only when the committee members threatened to resign en-mass that the ministry agreed to allocate a suitable fund for the committee to complete the assigned work", the member said.

As the committee members followed up with the ministry for the release of the needed fund, valuable time got wasted, and when the committee actually started its wok, there was no way it could meet the December deadline.

"We were directed to submit a preliminary report in December and the final report maximum by February 2014. However, valuable time wasted for the needed funs made our task difficult", the member said.

The committee was formed after a barrage of complaints from the Muslim community and a perception widely shared by people inside and outside the government that minority welfare schemes have failed to reach the intended beneficiaries.

Ironically, it is now feared that even if the committee submits its report by February, its findings will have no relevance, and could not serve the purpose for which it was formed.

"Our work, which entailed getting secondary data and travelling across the country to analyse and investigate the situation on the ground was unnecessarily delayed", another committee member said while criticising the concerned ministry on its "indifferent" attitude towards the committee.

"Had we got the needed money in time, we would have gone to select districts and collected the data from the ground. But now we do not have any option but to contact the respective state governments and collect the data from them", the member said.

The member also expressed concern that without collecting data from the ground and relying only on state government data will be a futile exercise.

"The committee was formed after it was alleged that the data provided by the centre to show implementation of the lacked veracity. Unless we have sufficient information from the ground, this allegation can't be challenged", the member said.


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