Focus

Govt boasts of minority schemes still in draft stage

New Delhi: Activists and NGOs working for the minorities have always accused the government of publicising exaggerated data to claim successful implementation of various government schemes especially of those announced or launched on the recommendations made of the Sachar Committee Report. Taking this “credit and blame game” to new low an activist has blamed the government of boasting of some of the schemes which are either still in draft stage or are launched just few months back.

“The government on December 18, 2013, which is celebrated as the National Minority Day, had published advertisements in all newspapers listing various schemes for minorities, especially the Muslims, which are successfully running, and bringing in good results. However, information obtained through RTI says some of the schemes listed in the advertisements are still in draft stage, and it is surprising how they found place in the list of successfully launched schemes”, said RTI activist Saleem Baig.

Saleem Baig added he had filed an RTI asking information abut the scheme ‘Nai Roshni’ after he saw an advertisement in a newspaper. The information said the scheme was meant for 40,000 women from the minority communities - including 25% non-minority women, for leadership development, and a fund of Rs. 15 crore was allocated for it in 2009.

“The government issued a tender inviting applications in June 2013 - more than three years after the fund was sanctioned, from interested NGOs. The information also said that a total of 1,240 applications were received in response to the advertisement”, he said.

“Interestingly”, he added, “The concerned ministry in its letter dated November 28, 2013 declined to give further information saying that the implementation-process is still underway.”

Similar is the case with another scheme listed in the advertisement named as ‘Seekho aur Kamao’ and ‘Hunar’. For Seekho aur Kamao, the information under RTI said, a total of 772 applications were received and a fund of 17 crore rupees was sanctioned for it.

“The government before making selection of 772 NGOs that applied for it, gave 2,25,050,40 to National Minorities Development Finance Corporation (NMDFC) and Rs. 50 lakhs to ILFS”, Saleem Baig said.

Giving information for ‘Hunar’ scheme, the concerned ministry just said, “It is informed that the scheme is yet at draft stage and is yet to be finalised.” Interestingly, this information was given on December 20, 2013 - two days after the advertisements appeared in newspapers.

An angry Saleem Baig said it seemed that most of the minority schemes for the minorities just remained on paper and they were announced just to fool the community.

Anger among the Muslim community against the government for failing to successfully implement the schemes was seen during the launch of National Waqf Development Corporation when an activist, Faheem Baig, disrupted the inaugural function protesting the government’s attitude.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2014 on page no. 1

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