Hyderabad: The release of Minority Welfare budget and loan is woefully inadequate in Telangana state which has affected important minority schemes during the last four years. These schemes include minorities’ educational and economic progress, scholarship reimbursement and self employment loan schemes.
The Telangana state government had announced the Dalit Bandhu scheme and started paying Rs.10 lacs to each dalit family under a pilot project. Other communities are also demanding Dalit Bandhu like schemes for their Welfare.
A review of the Minority Welfare budget during the last seven years will indicate that the government had not released complete budget even for a single year.
The main reason for the allocated amount not being released for minority budget is due to the lackadaisical attitude of Finance department and disinterest of the Minority Welfare Department’s officials.
The portfolio of Minority Welfare is under the charge of SC Development Minister K Ishwar. The Minister is not able to pay full attention to the Minority Welfare issues. He has not held a single meeting regarding the implementation of the minorities’ educational and economic progress schemes.
In the statistics given in connection with minority budget release, the government had referred to 23 to 30 items that include the salaries of minority Institutions’ employees and other expenses.
A review of budgets during 2014-15 and 2021-22 will show that only Rs 6080 crore were spent out of 9 financial budgets. The total of a mere Rs 6080 crore during the last 7 years is woefully insufficient as this amount includes the salaries of Minority Welfare employees and other expenses.
While the state government had allocated Rs 9987 crores during 2014-15 to 2021-22 but only Rs. 7708 crore were released.
From the point of view of releasing the allocated budget it is shown that Rs 1627.81 cr was returned to the Government treasury. Whereas in actual terms an amount of Rs. 3906.68 was returned to the Government treasury.
There are more than 15 lakh loan applications pending with the Minority Finance Corporation. This loan is part of of a self employment scheme for minority community. But unfortunately no budget has been released to the Corporation for the implementation of this scheme.
The Telangana government had announced Rs.50000 as direct loan to Muslims to make them self sufficient by enabling them to start small business but so far this scheme has not been implemented.
The Welfare Department officials say that they have reminded the Finance Department several times for the release of the budget but every time the refrain is that the state’s financial situation is not satisfactory.
Since last two years, scholarship amounts have not been released and the officials are unable to give any updates about the implementation of these educational schemes in minority institutions.
The state government, however, has released suitable yearly budget for Shaadi Mubarak, honorarium for the Imams and Muezzins and and the TMREIS schools. Shaadi Mubarak scheme is being implemented directly and hence no separate finance approval is required.
Like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana needs a sub-plan for the effective implementation of Minority Welfare Schemes.