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Published in the 1-15 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Step-motherly treatment to Maulana Azad Education Foundation 

The Milli Gazette Online

New Delhi: Maulana Azad Education Foundation which was formed for promoting education of Muslims is now a victim of government’s step-motherly treatment because it is not being given the grant which is due to it. For the current year, the interest from its corpus fund lying with the government has been given to the Foundation. Some senior Congress leaders are strongly opposed to this policy of the government. Some responsible authorities of the Foundation have also expressed their strong disapproval and criticised this attitude of the present government.

The Foundation was created when the present prime minister Manmohan Singh was the finance minister in Narasimha Rao’s government. At that time he had allocated an amount of Rs 1000 million in the budget for its corpus fund and the income generated from this fund was used for educational progress of Muslims. The income derived from this amount at that time was Rs 140 million as per the rate of interest on government bonds, though the entire amount of Rs 1000 million was not given to the Foundation.

When subsequently government changed, only Rs 700 million was left with the Foundation in the form of corpus fund and the income derived with this money was used for Foundation’s activities. When the NDA government took over in 1998, it released the remaining Rs 300 million but instead of giving it directly to the Foundation, it kept this amount in the custody of the ministry of social justice so that this ministry should continue giving it to the Foundation. NDA government gave the income from this fund to the Foundation every year in the following order: 

In 1998-99 the income derived and given to the Foundation was Rs 37.5 million. In 1999-2000 it was Rs 31.5 million. In 2000-01 it was Rs 28.5 million. In 2001-02 it was Rs 30 million. In 2002-03 it was Rs 21 million and in 2003-04 it was Rs 16.5 million. The present UPA government gave the minimum amount ever, i.e., Rs ten million which was given to the Foundation through a cheque which came along with a covering letter No-13-9/2004 mc claiming that this is the total income of the Foundation’s corpus money. 

Whereas the central government has appointed a commission to go into the details of Muslim community’s social, educational and economic conditions, its attitude as evident from the least amount ever given to the Foundation for the current year is indicative of its indifference, neglect and couldn’t-care-less attitude.

According to reliable sources, the Foundation’s vice chairman, Habib Faqih, in his letter of 6 May 2004 to the ministry of social justice secretary Mrs Sarita Prasad demanded that either the ministry should return Foundation’s Rs 300 million to it or give it at least 8 percent of this amount which comes to Rs 24 million. The ministry, however, did not reply to this letter so far.

According to reliable sources, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, K. Rahman Khan has taken this attitude very seriously and brought this matter to the notice of senior leaders. It is understood that Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor, Ahmad Patel has talked to Mrs Meera Kumar in this connection. 

It may be noted that the Foundation has invested its remaining amount of Rs 700 million of corpus money in Government of India’s savings bond which, at the 8% interest rate, results in an income of Rs 60 million. If this rate is applied to the Rs 300 million held by the ministry of social justice, it comes to Rs 24 million which should be given to the Foundation.

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