New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget 2015 speech in the Lok Sabha Saturday said that the allocation for the Ministry of Minority Affairs has been “protected,” prompting the community to ask if the allocation of the ministry or ministry itself was facing some threat of abolition.
In section 45 of his Budget speech, Jaitley said: “An integrated education and livelihood scheme called ‘Nai Manzil’ will be launched this year to enable Minority Youth who do not have a formal school-leaving certificate to obtain one and find better employment. Further, to show-case civilization and culture of the Parsis, the Government will support, in 2015-16, an exhibition, ‘The Everlasting Flame’. The allocation for the Ministry of Minority Affairs is being protected. The BE for the year 2015-16 is 3,738 crore.”
“Does it mean the allocation of the ministry was facing some threat that the government has protected it from, asked Mohammad Salim Engineer, Secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. The question is important because in the entire 43-page speech, the minister has not used the word “protected” for allocation of any other ministry or department.
“The intention of the Narendra Modi government about the minority ministry is not good. They want to abolish the ministry itself,” said Salim Engineer.
Commenting on the budget he said: “The government wants to protect the interests of the corporate sector only. They have announced to phase out subsidies. The budget cannot be said a pro-poor budget.”
The allocation for the ministry for the year 2015-16 has been increased by just Rs 4 crore. In the last budget it was Rs 3734 crore.
The allocation for Scheduled Castes in this budget is Rs 30,851 crore and Rs 19980 crore for Scheduled Tribes.
Welfare Party of India has also criticised the first full budget of the Modi led BJP government saying it has “brought Ache Din for Corporate and Bad days for Aam Admi.”
“There is no change in the budget allocation for minorities, whatever little increase is there is because the government didn’t release the 4th quarter fund of the last budget which has been added to present allocation,” said Party national president Dr. S. Q. R. Ilyas.
“Service tax has been increased to 14%. Even a slice of the benefit of heavy fall in crude oil price was not transferred to common tax payers by u ion minister Mr. Arun Jaitley. Share for SC/ST has been slashed substantially. The minister speaks loudly about five more mega nuclear power plants to appease foreign corporate, but makes no mention or provision for cheaper and safe alternative energy sources abundant in the nation,” he added.
Reacting over the low minority allocation, Dr Tasleem Ahmed Rehmani, President, Muslim political council of India said: “Arun Jaitley did a marvellous job by increasing as high as 4 crore for the minorities budget as against 3734 crore of previous year now it will be 3738 crore Wah Wah bahut shukriya Jaitley ji 4 crore rupees mein India ki 15% population ka tu ful fledged development hu jaye ga hie na! What an insult to Muslims at the hands of a govt who claims sab ka saath sab ka vikas”.
He also said that the budget will only boost corporate sector only. “It is a budget to boost corporate sector only turning our economy towards a casino show. While aam aadmi have to pay more for every commodity through raise in indirect taxes making everything costlier, covered most of services under insurance sector justifying increase in FDI and attracting big international players while taking out more money from the poor of the country…,” said Dr. Rehmani.