MVA govt didn’t implement schemes for minorities properly: Samajwadi Party
The Maharashtra unit of Samajwadi Party Wednesday criticised the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government stating that during its 31-month tenure it failed to effectively implement important schemes of the minority ministry related to education and basic amenities.
The Samajwadi Party was a constituent of the MVA and had extended its support to the triumvirate government of Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP.
Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikh said, “We have evaluated the performance of nearly 31 schemes that are being run by the state Minority department. In nearly 19 of them, the utilisation of funds is less than 50 per cent.”
Shaikh said that the total budget of the Minority Development Department stands at Rs 674 crore in a state where Muslims constitute 11.54 per cent of the population. “In Karnataka, which has a similar Muslim population at 12.92 per cent, the allocation is almost three times higher at Rs 2,136 crore,” said Shaikh. The MLA also sought an increase in the fund earmarked for minority development schemes.
“While the allocation for the minority department is already less, the money that is being allocated is not being fully utilised. Only 60% of the money allotted to provide scholarships to minority students have been used,” Shaikh said. He said that due to the poor disbursal of scholarship funds, a number of students were forced to drop out.
He added that the MVA government did not take the requisite effort to promote the schemes that could have helped the minority community. “The previous MVA government came to power on the support of the minority community. They, however, hardly did anything to improve the socio-economic conditions of the minorities, including Muslims,” Shaikh said.
Shaikh said that the incumbent government needs to set up a dedicated minority task force to evaluate the implementation of schemes for minorities. He also said that these schemes should be reviewed every five years to evaluate their effectiveness. Shaikh also demanded the setting up of an institute which will undertake research and policy advocacy related to issues of the minority community. The MLA added that the institute should be named after former president APJ Abdul Kalam.
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