Maharashtra Budget: Rs 131 Crore for Muslims, Rs 2378 Crore for Kumbh Mela in Nashik

By Staff Reporter,

Mumbai: Deputy Chief Minister and Maharashtra Finance Minister Ajit Pawar recently presented an interim budget, a total outlay of Rs.5417.2 crore for the next four months aimed at satisfying voters across the state, ahead of general and state assembly elections to be held this year.

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The Congress-NCP government, which had been promised skies to minorities, has again shown a thumb to them. The Maharashtra interim budget presented is the latest proof. In the Rs 5417.2 crore budget, only Rs.131 Crore has been allocated to Muslims. This fund will be allocated for basic development of madarsas, development of minority institutions and post metric scholarships. Whereas the budget allocates Rs. 2378 Crore for the upcoming Kumbh Mela in Nashik district. This fund will be utilized for the preparation of Kumbh Mela and for the development of the areas near Kumbh Mela.

Muslim organizations and ulema are feeling cheated by this allocation of mere Rs. 131 Crore in the budget. They say that the state government has many times agreed with the Sachar report but has failed to implement it.

Minority organizations’ dissatisfaction with the budget is also because the state government have on the one hand announced many schemes for the development of scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and OBC and have allocated thousands of fund for them but on the other hand have allocated only RS.131 Crore for the minorities. This allocation to minorities is not even half of the amount allocated to them in the last budget.

Abu Asim Azmi, Samajwadi Party MLA of Maharashtra has also expressed his discontent with the budget and said that the budget is not balanced and has not done justice with all the sections of the community and has appealed for increase in the fund for the minorities in the state.

State Minority Minister Muhammad Arif Naseem was dissatisfied with the allocation of less fund to minorities and in protest had not attended a meeting which was held by the state ministers before the announcement of budget. He has said that mere Rs.131 Crores are not sufficient for the development of minorities in the state and that he would request Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to raise fund for the minorities.

The general secretary of Legal Aid Committee of Jamiat Ulema Maharashtra (Arshad Madni) said, “Even though minorities of the state are with Congress and NCP, the government has turned a blind eye on them. Non congress governments in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have done better than Congress where they allocated Rs. 20140 Crores and Rs.800 Crores respectively”.