Friday, April 14, 2017

Zero "funds flow" for Gujarat's poor urban minorities vs allocation of whopping Rs 2,033 crore for housing

Ahmedabad protest for better infrastructure in minority areas
By Our Representative
Has the Gujarat government been summarily indifferent towards providing housing to poor urban minorities, whether during chief ministership of Narendra Modi, which lasted till May 2014, or thereafter? It would seem so, if the official figures, released by the Government of India, are any indication.
Though a big proportion of minorities live in urban areas, it did not “flow” any funds to help the poor sections living in cities/towns which have “a substantial minority population”, despite an allocation of a whopping Rs 2,033.08 crore in 2014-15.  While the figures for later years are not available, the all-India figures are not impressive either -- Rs 22,346.39 allocated, of which Rs 5,226.47 were spent.
In the rural Gujarat, however, things were better: Under housing to minorities under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin), during the year 2015-16, the target was 2,589 beneficiaries, while the achievement was 2,382.
Gujarat has eight minority concentrated blocks Kutch, Rajkot district and Bharuch districts. Its 10 minority-concentrated towns are in Kutch, Junagadh, Panchmahals, Bharuch, Sabarkantha, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Junagardh, Anand in Borsad districts.
Released by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, and compiled by Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee, Gujarat, facts show that the Government of India may have set the target of providing assistance to 670 minority beneficiaries for setting up of individual and group micro-enterprises in 2014-15, but the state government did nothing to move it forward.
At the all-India level, the target was to approach 9,000 beneficiaries, out of which 5,668 were “helped.”
Similarly, 4,424 minority beneficiaries in self-help groups were to be helped, but not one beneficiary benefited. The comparative all-India figures are: Help to 67,614 beneficiaries against t the target of 60,000.
Mujahid Nafees
Similarly, during 2014-15, the Gujarat government did not extend any special help to upgrade the skill of minority beneficiaries, though the target was to training 5,535. Here, the all-India target was 75,000 and the minorities who benefited from it were 29,880. Figures for subsequent years are not available.
The figures further reveal that the Gujarat government did not construct any primary or upper schools in 2006-07 under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in districts with substantial minority population under the Prime Minister’s 15 point programme to alleviate the plight of the minorities.
Also, under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, there was no “flow of benefits/funds to districts having a substantial minority population”. Even the all-India performance on this score for coverage of habitations was a poor 22.41 per cent.
Under the previous UPA rule, the Government of India floated the Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) as a centrally sponsored scheme. It decided to implement MSDP in 710 minority concentration Blocks, 66 minority concentration town and 13 clusters of contagious villages.
Continued by the NDA rule, says an official source, “this programme aims at improving the socio-economic infrastructure and basic amenities for uplifting the quality of life of the minorities”, even as providing “financial support for creation of assets for education (viz. school building, polytechnics, ITIs, hostels etc), health centres, drinking water and road projects, as also some income generation projects.
Projects are approved on the basis of the project proposals received from the states/UTs as per their requirement and felt need (click HERE for guidelines).
During the three years ending 2016-17, the Gujarat government did not do anything to float projects under MSDP, hence not one penny flowed in. The all-India figures were not impressive either – during 2016-17, for instance the projects approved were worth Rs 1076.22 crore, while Rs 859.56 crore “flowed in.”

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