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Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Asaduddin Owaisi
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Asaduddin Owaisi

Union Budget is very disappointing for minorities: Asaduddin Owaisi

Hyderabad: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president and Hyderabad MP said that the Union Budget for 2017-18 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today looks hardly inspiring. There is nothing worthwhile for every section of society and every sector of the country’s economy, he said.

Asaduddin Owaisi said that the Union Budget, particularly for the minorities is very disappointing.

While the allocation for the welfare of Scheduled Castes has been stepped up from Rs 38,833 crores in Budget Estimate 2016-17 to Rs 52,393 crores in 2017-18, representing an increase of about 35 percent, the allocation for Scheduled Tribes has been increased to Rs 31,920 crores and for Minority Affairs to Rs 4,195 crores.

“Minorities account for 20 percent of the country’s population (24.17 crores out of 121.08 crores) but they are allocated Rs 4,515 crores in the Union budget for 2017-18 which envisages total expenditure of Rs 21,46,735 crores.

The outlay for minorities comes to just 0.21 percent (one-fifth of one percent) though they account for 20 percent of the population. The per capita outlay for minorities comes to only Rs 187 per capita. The per capita budgetary expenditure for the country’s population is Rs 17,730,” Asaduddin Owaisi said.

The details of the budgetary expenditure of Ministry of Minority Affairs show that the actual expenditure in the financial year 2015-16 was Rs 3,654.86 crores.

The actual expenditure in the year 2014-15 was Rs 3,069.01 crores. The budget estimate and revised estimate for the year 2016-17 is Rs 3,827.25 crores.

The budget estimate for the financial year 2017-18 is Rs 4,195.48 crores, representing an increase of Rs 368.23 crores or just 9.63 percent, as per Demand No 66 of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the Hyderabad MP said.

“Though the AIMIM had demanded scrapping the Haj subsidy on chartered flights and instead allocating this money for the education of Muslim girls, this has not been done and a reduced also, the allocation has still been made in the budget for the Haj subsidy though under a different name.

Also, the allocations for Madrasa education have been reduced compared to 2015-16, even though the AIMIM had sought higher quantum of funds for this purpose,” he said.

Under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the actual expenditure for education scheme for Madrasas and Minorities under the Umbrella Programme for Development of Minorities was Rs 295.96 crores in 2015-16 financial year. (The actual expenditure on this scheme in 2014-15 was Rs 119.24 crores).

The budget estimate and revised estimate for the year 2016-17 is 120 crores. The allocation for 2017-18 is also Rs 120 crores, indicating zero increase, Asaduddin Owaisi said.

Similarly, under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Demand No. 9), the actual expenditure in 2015-16 was Rs 529.51crores for subsidy for operation of Haj chaters. The actual expenditure in 2014-15 was Rs 577.08 crores. The budget estimate for 2016-17 is Rs 450 crores and the revised estimate is Rs 407 crores.

The budget estimate for the year 2017-18 is Rs 200 crores under the subsidy for special operations (previously known as Haj subsidy).

Asaduddin Owaisi said overall, the allocations for Ministry of Minority Affairs, as also Madrasa education under the Ministry of HRD and the Haj subsidy under the Ministry of Civil Aviation rose from actual expenditure of Rs 3,765.33 crores in 2014-15 and Rs 4,480.33 crores in 2015-16 but declined to Rs 4,397.205 crores in budget estimates for 2016-17 and Rs 4,354.25 crores in revised estimate for 2016-17.

The budget estimate for the financial year 2017-18 is Rs 4,515.48 crores for Ministry of Minority Affairs, Madrasa education and Haj subsidy.

Within the Ministry of Minority Affairs, there are hardly any significant changes under various schemes, except for MSDP (multi-sectoral development programme), skill development and livelihoods schemes and the establishment expenditure where some increases have been made, he said. (INN)

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