Published On:13 May 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Development eludes Muslims

By Syed Amin Jafri

Hyderabad: "Despite marked improvement in the developmental indices of Muslims, the community lags behind the national average." This is the observation of the Parliament's standing committee on Social Justice and Empowerment on the Demands for Grants for the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA) for 2013-14. The committee, in its 37th report tabled in Parliament on May 2, noted that Muslim community is lagging behind in education and job sector in comparison to other minority communities. The large drop-out rates in schools is stated to be the main reason for this. The committee quoted the MoMA's assertion that due to constant endeavour through various schemes dedicated to the minority community like the Prime Minister's New 15-Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities, the situation has improved in the recent years and the all-round effect would be visible once the data of census 2011 pertaining to SRGs becomes available. Literacy rate among Muslims in rural and urban areas for the year 1999-2000 and 2007-08 has registered a marked improvement from 52.1% to 63.5% and from 69.8% to 75.1% respectively. The recruitment of minorities in Central government jobs has increased from 6.93% in 2006-07 to 11.55% in 2010-11. The committee observed that the results for the utilization of funds for the ministry, which constitute only 0.67 percent of the total budget of the Central government for the year 2013-14, are far from adequate as there are still a large number of Muslim inhabited areas in the country where the fruits of progress are yet to reach.

The committee recommended undertaking a special drive by forming monitoring committees in each of the minority concentration blocs, involving local MPs, MLAs and community leaders in collaboration with the state governments to accelerate the development of these blocks under various schemes. In its 70-page report, the standing committee noted that though the total budgetary allocation under plan was Rs 3,135 crore in the year 2012-13, the actual expenditure incurred by MoMA was only Rs 2,165.62 crore (69.08%). As such, Rs 969.38 crore, which could not be utilized, was ultimately surrendered by MoMA. The ministry of finance reduced the budgetary allocation from Rs 3,135 crore to Rs 2,200 crore in the revised estimate during 2012-13 under the Plan, keeping in view the trend of expenditure till September 2012.

The committee found three distinct reasons for 'surrender' of funds in respect of central sector schemes and centrally sponsored schemes. These included budgetary cut made by the finance ministry at the revised estimates stage, non-receipt of adequate and viable proposals leading to non-implementation of schemes and delay in completing the process of appraisal and approval of many of the new schemes during 2012-13.

Expressing its dismay, the committee noted that the budgetary cuts at the revised estimate stage were ostensibly due to non- utilization of funds on account of non-receipt of proposals and utilization certificates. In some cases, the schemes could not take off at all for non-appraisal and approval of schemes by the Planning Commission.In this backdrop, the committee recommended that the MoMA should ask all the state governments to send the proposals in the first quarter of the fiscal year itself. Evaluation of proposals and release of funds should be made by the second quarter, and status report should be made available to the committee on the progress made by MoMA every quarter.

[The writer is a member of legislative council and a journalist]

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on May 13, 2013. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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