Assam govt asked to speed up minority development
NCM member Syed Shahezadi

Guwahati: The Assam government has been asked to accelerate the implementation of schemes meant for the development of minority communities in the state, a member of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) said here on Wednesday.

Constitution of the minority finance corporation and the minority development commission at the state-level at the earliest have especially been emphasised as these bodies are important for ensuring that benefits percolate to all eligible people, the NCM member said.

Addressing a press conference here at the end of a three-day visit to the state, NCM member Syed Shahezadi said, “I held several meetings during the visit, including with officials, spiritual leaders and the state minority development board”.

“In my meeting with the chief minister yesterday, I have told him that the work being done for the welfare of minorities in the state is satisfactory, but there is a need to further speed it up.”

The state minority finance corporation has been defunct for 10 years, while the minority development commission has also not been formed for quite some time, she said, adding that such bodies are essential to ensure that benefits of government schemes reach maximum intended beneficiaries.

“The Wakf Board committee is also yet to be constituted, while the minority development committee in the state has only the chairman and vice-chairman but no members yet,” she said.

“The chief minister has responded positively and we will be receiving a detailed report soon on all issues flagged during our meeting with him,” the NCM member said.

Shahezadi stressed that awareness about the schemes for the minorities has to be increased and she underlined the role of spiritual leaders and media in this regard.

She said a WhatsApp group of spiritual leaders of minority communities is being formed so that awareness of the welfare schemes can be done through the religious and other institutions run by them.

The scam in pre-matric scholarships in the state was also raised during the meeting with the chief minister, Shahezadi said, adding that the state government has been asked to ensure that genuine students do not suffer.

“Once I am back in New Delhi, I will write to the chief secretary regarding all issues that have been brought to our notice,” she added.

Altogether 1,39,673 projects with a total value of Rs 2,227 crore have been sanctioned under the Ministry of Minority Affairs for Assam since 2008-09.

The central share for these projects is Rs 2,066 crore, of which Rs 1,569 crore has been released so far.

Muslims are the largest minority community in the state, forming 34 per cent of the state’s total population.

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