Ahmedabad: As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about “SABKA SAATH SABKA VIKAS” in his every speeches, His hometown Gujarat proves that clearly as its allocation for minorities is ten times lower than Karnataka, it’s 0.029% (Rs 51.44 crore in 2017-18) of state budget, a recent analysis by an Ahmedabad-based advocacy group, Rehnuma which claims to work on exclusion and discrimination issues of religious minorities, has found that “model” Gujarat has seen the lowest budgetary allocation for the minorities among the seven states it examines.
According to article published in counterview, while the allocation for Gujarat was a mere Rs 51.44 crore in 2017-18, the highest allocation was found to have been made in West Bengal, Rs 3,470.78 crore.
On the Other hand, with the sole exception of Jharkhand “showed a downward trend in annual allocation for the three years it analyses, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-17, and it was the “sharpest for Gujarat”, the report underlines, the high budget (HBA) states, on the other hand, showed “a steady improvement.”
As Karnataka’s budget shows the sharpest rise from 2015-16 Rs. 845.02 crore to 2017-18 Rs. 2199.94 crore for minorities allocation, the report says.
Pointing out that none of the seven states it has analyzed have seen a change in government in these last three years, the report notes, for the year 2017-18, the percentage share of allocation for minorities in the total state budget is also the lowest for Gujarat (0.029%) and highest for West Bengal (1.9%).
According to reports, In Gujarat most focused on scholarships and education-related schemes (69.4%) and little on anything else, and 19.4% of the estimated expenditure is for infrastructure development under the Multi Sectoral Development Programme for Minorities (MSDP).”
See the low budget allocation for minority state:
Jharkhand, on the other hand, has a much higher allocation under MsDP (39.2%), a Centrally-funded scheme, and much lower for scholarships (1.7%), the report notes, adding, Jharkhand spent 25.5% of the MsDP allocation for building boundary walls for graveyards and 17% for distribution of bicycles.
Madhya Pradesh, the report says, spent 54.2% on the Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM), also a Central scheme, spending another 8.1% is spent on grants related to madrasa and schooling education for minority children.
As for Odisha, the report says, its “allocation pattern is closer to Jharkhand with MsDP allocation forming the biggest chunk”, adding, “These funds are also used for building hostels and this spending represents 21% of the overall minority welfare allocation.”
According to reports, Whereas Ten times of Gujarat’s allocation for minority welfare is allocated for scholarships in Karnataka, while another flagship scheme called ‘Bidaai’, meant to support marriages of poor/divorced and widowed minority women.
“Similar priorities can be found in the Telangana budget”, the report added, “The infrastructure development is specifically concentrated around education (34% just on residential schools and hostels).”
Pointing towards “financially supporting the marriage of minority girls called ‘Shaadi Mubarak scheme’(12%), “Of all the seven state budgets including the LBA states, Telangana reports the lowest allocation under MsDP, Rs 30 lakh, which is nominal.”
As highest among all states coming to West Bengal, which has “the highest allocation under MsDP (Rs 1,004.5 crore or 28.9%)”, adding, “West Bengal is the only state to give its own large assistance to government and non-government schools and colleges that are presumably either minority education institutions or cater to minority students. This comes to about 18.1% of the West Bengal’s minority budget.”