UPA banks on Rs. 5,775 cr scheme for minorities

June 10, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

ministry of minority affairsNew Delhi, June 06, 2013: Worried about losing minority votes, the UPA has identified 710 ‘minority-concentrated’ blocks and 66 towns all over the country to launch a special development scheme. The Union cabinet on Tuesday approved Rs1,250 crore to be spent over the next nine months on health, education and vocational programmes. The Centre will appoint 776 “facilitators” to monitor projects and report to the minority affairs ministry. The total allocation for the scheme, known as restructuring of multi-sectoral development programme, has been pegged at Rs. 5,775 crore.

Political parties in UP, Bihar and West Bengal have termed it a Congress ploy to revive its electoral fortunes. The central government has identified 370 blocks and 26 towns in these states where the Congress doesn’t have much clout.

Union minority affairs minister K Rahman Khan, however, said only graduates would be appointed as “facilitators”. He said the Centre was thinking of making projects for minorities a central scheme in BJP ruled Gujarat, the ministry has identified four blocks in the Kutch district to introduce such schemes. The Gujarat government refuses to implement schemes for minorities where they have to bear 25% of the cost, Khan said. He named Congress-ruled Assam, where 118 blocks have been identified as ‘minority-concentrated’. But the state is still to claim central funds for the scheme.

The minister said restructuring of the programe from 90 minority-concentrated districts to 710 blocks and towns falling in 196 districts would sharpen the focus on minority welfare.

– dna

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