Asaduddin Owaisi corners Minority Minister in Lok Sabha on minority schemes

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,,

New Delhi: Today was the turn of Asaduddin Owaisi, Member of Lok Sabha from Hyderabad, to speak on the performance of the Ministry of Minority Affairs in the Lower House of the Indian Parliament. Owaisi cornered Union Minister Salman Khurshid on unsatisfactory implementation of various minority welfare schemes. And his arguments were loaded with official facts and figures from the ministry itself.

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Chief of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen Asaduddin Owaisi came down heavily on the ministry for being mute spectator while scheme after scheme meant for minority welfare is falling far behind the target. He specially talked about Multisectoral Development Program in Minority Concentration Districts, Prime Minister’s 15-Point Program, Sachar Committee recommendation for Equal Opportunity Commission and three mega scholarship schemes for minority students.

While praising the scholarship schemes like Pre-Matric, Post-Matric and Merit-cum-Means he said that the given the educational backwardness of the community, funds for such schemes are insufficient. Referring to allocation of a few hundred crores of rupees for these mega scholarship schemes, Owaisi said: “For the community whose literacy rate is just 59%, and who has just three graduates out of one hundred in the country, does the government think the problem will be solved by giving a few lakhs of scholarships? It’s a very meagre amount, it’s like a drop in an ocean.”

He urged the government to make these schemes ‘demand driven.’ “Because unless you do that no real benefit is going to the Muslim community or any minority community. Thousands and thousands of crores of rupees should be earmarked for these schemes,” stressed Owaisi.

Taking part in the discussion in Lok Sabha on the performance of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Owaisi strongly advocated Equal Opportunity Commission. “Why the government is sitting on the Sachar Committee recommendation in this regard. This commission will not only benefit the minority community but all people including those from the backward classes.”

On the subject of projects for 90 Minority Concentration Districts across the country, Owaisi said that less than half of the sanctioned amount has been used. Cornering Salman Khurshid, Lok Sabha Member from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, Owaisi singled out Khurshid’s home state UP to bring home the point.
Referring to the Financial Outcome Budget document, Owaisi said that out of 89 MCDs approved only 41 were given full approval and 48 part approval. “This says what kind of seriousness is there in the ministry of minority affairs.”

“For the 90 MCDs, Rs 1077 crore were earmarked in 2010 but up to 31 Dec 2010 only Rs 532 crore was spent. I would like to know from the honorable minister what is it that is stopping him?”

Asaduddin Owaisi speaking on minority ministry in Lok Sabha

Talking about ineffective implementation of schemes in MCDs, Owaisi gheraoed Khurshid on his home turf. “The honorable minister’s state has 21 MCDs but what is their performance: only 42% has been spent in UP. Besides, 80398 units of homes under Indira Awas Yojna were to be made but only 17231 were constructed. I am quoting this figure from the minority ministry website,” Owaisi said. He added: 530 additional class rooms were to be constructed in the MCDs in UP but the achievement is zero and out of 513 school buildings to be constructed, none was built. Moreover, out of sanctioned 9 ITIs and 16 Polytechnics, none saw the light. “If this is the case in the home state of the minister, one can imagine about other states,” said Owaisi and added: in Bihar there are 7 MCDs and the state spent just 31% of the amount. “This speaks volumes about Nitish Kumar’s vision,” said Owaisi.

Continuing on the topic, the three-term MP said: In the present scheme, MCDs have covered only 30% of Muslim population and this is because 25% population criteria was used. “I request the minister to ensure that before 12th five year plan the criteria should be lowered to 15%. Owaisi also said that “Mungerkerar Committer report should be taken into account. The committee has identified 251 minority towns. Use that criteria for 12th five year plan.

He also talked about Prime Minister’s 15-piont program and said this too is not being implemented fully and gave data to support his point.