Hyderabad: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen floor leader in Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi on Wednesday demanded that the Telangana Government enhance budgetary allocation to Rs. 4,100 crore for Minorities Welfare Department in the forcoming budget for financial year 2018-19.
In a letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, the MIM leader thanked the government for allocation Rs. 1, 249.49 crore and additional allocations of Rs. 97.43 crore for Minorities Welfare Department in the State Budget for 2017-18.
He urged the government to ensure that the allocated funds for minorities’ welfare are released expeditiously before the financial year draws to a close on 31st March 2018.
He pointed out that although the State Government has been proactive in enhancing the budgetary allocations for minorities welfare every year in the last four financial years, there have been shortfall in the budgetary releases as well as actual expenditure owing to several factors, including staff and institutional constraints.
“I may recall that the budgetary allocations for minorities’ welfare have been raised to Rs 1,030 Crore in 2014-15, Rs 1,130.36 Crore in 2015-16, Rs 1,204 Crore in 2016-17 and further to Rs 1,249.49 Crore in 2017-18. However, the actual release of funds and actual expenditure has been pegged at Rs 307.86 Crore in 2014-15, Rs 490.29 Crore in 2015-16 and Rs 850.01 Crore in 2016-17.
In the current financial year, the releases have amounted to Rs 1054.10 Crore but the actual expenditure has been only Rs 682 Crore so far (April -December 2017),” Akbaruddin Owaisi pointed out.
Overall, the budgetary allocations for minorities’ welfare have aggregated to Rs 4,613.85 Crore in the four years (2014-15 to 2017-18) but the budgetary releases have amounted to only Rs 2,702 Crore and the actual expenditure has totaled Rs 2,330 Crore. By the end of current financial year, this figure may reach Rs 2,500 Crore, he said.
The MIM leader said that in the last two years, the government has started 192 new minority residential schools and strengthened the existing 12 minority residential schools. “These schools need new buildings and infrastructure as well as permanent staff requiring huge outlay,” he said.
Further, he said that the government has also enhanced the subsidy component to 80% for bank-linked loaning schemes costing Rs one lakh and 70% for schemes costing Rs two lakh. In the meantime, the Chief Minister has decided to raise the subsidy to 100 percent for micro-finance scheme for petty vendors and hawkers. “This would also require massive outlay in the ensuing year for covering a large number of beneficiaries,” he said.
Akbaruddin Owaisi demanded that the grant under Shaadi Mubarak scheme be enhanced to Rs 100,116 from the existing Rs. 75,116.
“As you are aware, the financial year 2018-19 would be the last one before Telangana State goes for simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls,” he pointed out.
Akbaruddin Owaisi urged the government to raise the budgetary allocation for Minorities Welfare Department to Rs 4,100 Crore in the ensuing financial year 2018-19 to meet the commitments on the existing and proposed schemes, including higher allocations for the minorities residential schools, loaning programmes and scholarships and fees reimbursement on par with SCs/STs as assured by your esteemed self in the Assembly.
This allocation will be only 2% of the Rs 2 lakh Crore State budget that the government is contemplating for fiscal year 2018-19, he said.
The MIM leader said that for 204 Residential Schools, the recurring expenditure will be Rs. 750 Crore and and new buildings initially one in each district will cost Rs. 750 Crore @ Rs. 25 Crore per school. Therefore, the total amount required will be Rs.1,500 Crore.
Similarly, the government needs Rs. 75 Crore for Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarships, RTF – 200 Crore and Overseas Scholarships – Rs.75 Crore taking the total requirement to Rs. 350 crore for 2018-19. He said arrears of MTF and RTF needs to be paid for the years 2016-17 and 2017-18 which comes to about Rs 400 Crore.
Therefore, the total amount required under this head will be Rs 750 Crore. “The MTF and RTF may be released quarterly as promised by you,” he urged the CM.
Rs. 500 crore will be needed to implement Bank Link Subsidy Scheme for 50,000 beneficiaries @ Rs. One Lakhs each for 2018-19. Further, release of subsidy amounts to 50,000 beneficiaries out of the 1.4 lakh pending applicants of 2016-17 will need another Rs 500 Crore taking the total to Rs. 1,000 crore.
Rs. 250 crore will be required for Shaadi Mubarak Scheme as the rate of Rs. 1 lakh each to 25,000 beneficiaries.
“For Wakf Board Grand-in-Aid for honoraria to imams & muezzins, development of Wakf Properties, Dargahs, Eidgahs and graveyards’ development (Jehangir Peeran, Baba Sharfuddin, Barhane Shah and other dargahs etc), Jamia Nizamia Auditorium, Musafir Khana at Hyderabad for Shia Zaireen during Muharram, and new Islamic Research Centre at Hyderabad, amount estimated is Rs. 250 Crore.
Similarly, for Urdu Academy for development and implementation of Urdu Official language, printing of Urdu Medium textbooks, setting up of Libraries and Computer Centres; an amount of Rs. 125 Crore is needed. For maintenance of Mecca Masjid and Shahi Masjid and their development, amount estimated is Rs.25 Crore.
Other requirements include Rs. 50 Crore for Study Circles and Guidance Cells & Employment Training Centres in each District; Rs. 25 Crore For Christian Finance Corporation and Christian pilgrimage to holy places; Rs. 30 Crore for Ramzan Iftar parties and Christmas parties and clothes distribution; Rs. 20 crore for Construction of new Haj House and recurring expenditure for Haj Committee; Rs. 25 crore for T-Pride and T-SEZ for Minorities entrepreneurs and another Rs. 50 crore for other expenditure for all other communities like Jain Bhavan, Sikh Bhavan etc.,
“We sincerely hope and trust that your esteemed self would act promptly on our suggestions for substantially raising the budgetary allocations for minorities’ welfare in 2018-19 so that these sections, particularly Muslims, can contribute their best to the development and progress of Telangana State,” Akbaruddin Owaisi told the Chief Minister in his letter. (INN)