TRS Govt spending only Rs. 147 per month for minorities: Congress

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· Shabbir Ali demands ‘Minority Bandhu’ scheme in Telangana

Hyderabad, August 16: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has strongly condemned TRS Government for not spending the allocated budget for the welfare of minorities. He said that the per capita expenditure on minorities’ welfare in Telangana was a mere Rs. 147 per month.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Monday, said that the State Government was deliberately delaying the release of welfare funds as part of a conspiracy to stall the development of minorities. “Not even 15% of Rs. 1,602 Crore allocated in the budget for the financial year 2021-22 have been released in the last five months. TRS Govt has been cheating the Muslims on the welfare budget since 2014 by not releasing even 50% of the allocated amount. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s claim of Rs. 2,000 Crore budget for minorities’ welfare was fake and misleading,” he said.

The Congress leader said that the TRS Government has allocated Rs. 11,052 Crore for the minorities welfare in eight annual budgets from 2014-15 to 2021-22. However, the State Government has released only Rs. 5,772.51 Crore in the last seven years. The estimated population of Telangana in 2021 is 3.51 Crore while the Muslim population is about 48.45 lakh (12.70%). Even if the overall spending on minorities’ welfare is rounded off to Rs. 6,000 Crore, then TRS Govt has spent only Rs. 147 per month on each Muslim in the State, he said.

“CM KCR is apparently expecting the minorities, especially Muslims, to achieve growth, get education and jobs, start a business, protect Wakf properties, promote Urdu and carry out other welfare activities with a monthly budget of Rs. 147 per person,” he said.

Shabbir Ali pointed out that the Commission of Inquiry on Socio-Economic and Educational Conditions of Muslims, headed by retired IAS officer T.S. Sudhir submitted its report to the government exactly five years ago (12th August 2016) with several recommendations for the welfare of Muslims. “The Sudhir Commission has clearly pointed out that STs and Muslims top the list of large populations that have never attended any school. It also concluded that Muslims were worse off in higher education with a high dropout ratio. They have poor access to health facilities, poverty and slum-like conditions of living. Nearly 43% of Muslims are living in rented accommodation. Further, only 19.2% of the Muslims are regular salaried and 16.4% of the Muslim workers are self-employed in non-agricultural activities,” he said.

“Besides recommending 12% Muslim reservation, Sudhir Commission also recommended the constitution of the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC), implementation of ‘diversity index’ and appointment of an expert group to study or revise the criteria for assessing the backwardness of a community. However, the TRS Govt did not implement a single recommendation made by the Sudhir Commission in the last five years,” he said.

Similarly, he said no action was taken to implement other recommendations of Sudhir Commission which included filling up of Urdu teachers’ posts; Implementation of Urdu as Second official language; Sub-Plan for Muslims on the lines of SC, ST Sub-Plan; Collateral free business loans for small entrepreneurs belonging to the Muslim community and scholarships for Muslim students.

Shabbir Ali demanded that the TRS Govt provide Rs. 10 lakh to each poor minority family in the State on the lines of Dalit Bandhu scheme. He said that the State Government should treat all communities equally and it could not discriminate against minorities by spending just Rs. 147 per month. He said that the Chief Minister should announce the implementation of ‘Minorities Bandhu’ scheme and start its immediate implementation.