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Gujarat minorities, 11.5% of state, failing to utilise govt schemes, blame poor governance

By Our Representative

The Gujarat-based civil rights group Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), in a letter to Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel, has regretted that that the absence of a minorities department in the state is adversely impacting the administration of different state agencies that are meant to cater to the needs of minorities.
Especially referring to how three different state agencies -- Gujarat Waqf Board, Gujarat Minority Finance and Development Corporation and Gujarat Haj Committee – are operating under separate government departments, MCC convener Mujahid Nafees said in his letter, it would be advisable to place them under a new minority affairs department.
Today, the Wakf Board is administered by the Legal Department, the Haj Committee is administered by the General Administration Department, and the the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment implements the Centre-sponsored Scholarship Scheme, 15-point programme as well as the schemes of Minority Finance and Development Corporation.
“From the administrative point of view and for the convenience of the people, if all the institutions created for minority affairs are administered under the auspices of a single department, the administration and the general public will also be facilitated and a specific budgetary allocation of money can be made”, the letter said.
Due to lack of a single nodal government department, Nafees claimed, “11.5% minorities of Gujarat including Muslims, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Jews etc. are deprived of concrete development works.”
Insisting that this could be done by forming a separate minority affairs department on lines of the Government of India’s Minority Affairs Ministry as also several other states, Nafees, who has sent copy of the letter to the Gujarat Chief Secretary and the Leader of the Opposition, demanded, this should done on “immediate basis.”

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