While addressing the concerns shown by the Members in both the
house of the Parliament, Minority Affairs Minister Salman
Khurshid on the last day of the budget session Friday strongly
defended the government's commitment for the welfare of the
minorities but blamed the state government for
under-utilizing the funds.
"Under the Prime Minister's 15-point
programme, 15 per cent of the development funds is set aside for
Therefore, it is absolutely wrong to say that we are not
doing anything for the welfare of the minorities", Khurshid said in the Lok
Sabha March 25 while replying to the discussion on 'Need to Uplift the
Socio-Economic and Educational Status of Minorities in the
Stating that the government is
sending funds for minorities regularly but they are not being
utilized by the states he said, “We have sent a sum of Rs.1000
crore to Uttar Pradesh. But this fund has not been properly
utilized so far."
Khurshid urged the states to
increase their absorbing capacity as the centre is ready to
increase the allocations and targets.
provided 37 lakh scholarships against the target of 20 lakh
scholarships. I would, therefore, say that the states should
increase their absorbing capacity. We are ready to provide funds,
we only want that funds should be spent properly.”
Urging the members to monitor the
implementation of the Prime Minister's 15-Point Program in their
respective constituencies, Khurshid said, “Your participation and
monitoring is needed (for proper implementation of) the 15-point
programme. I therefore request the active participation of all the
members in this regard."
Salman Khurshid, however, rejected
the idea mooted by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisee for having a sub-plan for the minorities in line with the SCs and
STs stating that the program is not successful.
"Some members asked why shouldn't we
have a sub-plan for minorities on the same line that we have for tribals and SCs.
We don't consider it because it has not been very successful. We
formulated 15-point program instead and if implemented properly, it would be more effective",
On Asaduddin Owaisi’s suggestion
that the number of minority concentration districts should be
increased by decreasing the limit of 25% minority population
criteria, Khurshid said that the government would consider the
suggestion. He, however, said that the criteria of 25% was used to
cover North India where minorities are more backward than others.