Mumbai: The Centre has been pro-actively overseeing the implementation of minority related development schemes by state governments through continuous review and monitoring. Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs , Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today held a wide ranging discussions with the Maharashtra Minister for Minority Affairs, Eknath Khadse in Mumbai, and reviewed the progress in implementation of various schemes in Maharashtra.
Mr. Naqvi in his remarks said that Maharashtra needed to speed up implementation of schemes and utilization of central funds allocated. Stating that education was the priority area for minority empowerment, the Minister observed that Maharashtra had been able to achieve only 38% progress in opening of 1000 primary schools for minorities. He said, the progress card of Maharashtra under various schemes ranged from 30-45%, no where crossing the half way mark. “The decision to release Central funds often depends upon the utilization rate of the previous grants. Maharashtra needs to look into this matter and speed up implementation rate. A state like Kerala has already utilized 100% funds and has capacity to absorb more” he stated.
Mr. Naqvi reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on skill development and said, that was one of the sure ways to empower minority youth. Citing example of government-industry cooperation in Delhi, Mr. Naqvi suggested Maharashtra government also to explore possibilities of entering into MoUs with corporates, industry and service institutions for supply of skilled manpower. “No one likes to employ a raw hand. A skill development programme drawn as per the requirement of a client is a win-win situation for all”, the Minister added.
Mr. Naqvi said the government at the centre was committed to overall socio-economic development of minorities, and promised that funds would not be a problem in addressing any of the challenges. He asked Maharashtra government to come up with innovative schemes and programmes to promote minority welfare .
Maharashtra Minister Eknath Khadse informed Mr. Naqvi that the new government, that has taken charge 3 months ago, was making all efforts to fast track implementation of minority schemes in Maharashtra. He said, the government was laying stress on minority education, especially girls education. To promote this 15-16 separate girls hostels are being built across the state, he added. Mr Khadse also sought a central grant of Rs 100 crore for the Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation, that provides financial assistance and subsidized loans to minority communities. Mr. Khadse urged the Centre to increase the value of merit scholarship for minority students to Rs 35,000 from the present Rs 25,000, bringing it on par with the scholarships given to SC/ST students.
Mohd. Hussain Khan, Chairman, Minority Commission of Maharashtra was also present. Union Minister Mr. Naqvi also met with minority community leaders and ascertained their views.