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Govt plan: Wakf assets to churn funds for Muslims

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New Delhi: To generate income for the welfare of Muslim community, the central government has proposed to set up a National Wakf Development Corporation (NWDC) to develop wakf or religious endowment property on commercial lines.

Through this, the government hopes to generate Rs 12,000 crore annually, which will be used for the welfare of the community.

Union minority affairs minister K Rahman Khan on Tuesday announced that his ministry has initiated the move that will also include an efficient and comprehensive management of wakf property.

The prime minister’s high level committee headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar had mentioned 4.9 lakh registered wakf property, spread over an an estimated area of 6 lakh acres all over India. This makes the wakf boards the third-largest landholder in the country only after the railways and defence ministry.

A senior government official Zafar Mehmood, who also served as member of the PM’s committee, said the current income from these property was merely Rs 163 crore, amounting to a meagre rate of return of 2.7%. “But if you look at the current market value of these property something around Rs1.2 lakh crore, the return comes to a pathetic figure of 0.135%,” he said.

Mehmood estimates that these property, if managed efficiently, can generate minimum 10% returns — which will be a whopping Rs. 12,000 crore annually.

Union minister K Rahman Khan also maintained that the enhanced income from the wakf property will be utilized to upgrade the educational status and improve other human development dimensions of the Muslim community.

Outlining the priorities requiring immediate action, Khan asked all the wakf boards to complete the survey of endowment property and computerisation of their records within next three month in all the states. At a conference of representatives of state wakf boards, he asked them to audits and ensure streamlining the management, income and protection of these property.

What is wakf?

Wakf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable property for religious, or charitable purposes.

The wakf Institutions support mosques, dargah, graveyards, etc and at many places schools, colleges, hospitals and sarais.

There are 4.9 lakh registered wakf property, spread over an an estimated area of 6 lakh acres, all over India.

(Courtesy: DNA)
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