In the wake of acceptance of
recommendations of Sachar Committee Report, it was
expected from P. Chidambarm’ budget presentation in
March 2007 to make some special provisions for
Muslims leading to their mainstreaming in the
development process but in vain. A lot of anguish
shown by the Muslim leadership over the
embarrassment has pressurised the policymakers to
come out with some concrete proposals. The UPA
government has strived to fulfil hopes of the
community since then. The present budget estimates,
tabled by the current finance minister Shri Pranab
Mukherjee for the term 2009-10 goes a step further.
It not only enhances allocations on the undertaken
scheme over the previous budget but also introduce
new schemes under the head of Welfare of Minorities.
items 53 and 54, the budget reads:
53. The Plan outlay of Ministry of Minority Affairs
has been enhanced from Rs.1,000 crore in BE 2008-09
to Rs.1,740 crore in 2009-10, registering an
increase of 74%. This includes Rs.990 crore for
Multi-Sectoral Development Programme for Minorities
in selected minority concentration districts,
Grants-in-aid to Maulana Azad Education Foundation,
which is almost doubled, and provisions for National
Minorities Development and Finance Corporation and
Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarships for
Minorities. Allocations have also been made for the
new schemes of National Fellowship for Students from
the Minority Community and Grants-in-aid to Central
Wakf Council for computerization of records of State
54. Aligarh Muslim University has
decided to establish its campuses at Murshidabad in
West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala. I propose to
make an allocation of Rs.25 crore each for these two
Under the head of Female Literacy
the budget goes like this:
50. The low level of female
literacy continues to be a matter of grave concern.
It has, therefore, been decided to launch a National
Mission for Female Literacy, with focus on
minorities, SC, ST and other marginalised groups.
The aim will be to reduce by half, the current level
of female illiteracy, in three years.
Besides, a number of schemes
included under the ministry of Human Resource
Development, such as Infrastructure Development of
Minority Institutions (IDMI) and Scheme for
Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM) also
got better allocation this fiscal.
With the above-mentioned
allocations in view the following derivation can be
allocation for the welfare of minorities has
increased by 74% from the previous financial year to
the provision of Rs 1740 crore.
2. Major chunk
of budgetary allocation for the welfare of
minorities would go to Multi-Sectoral Development
Programme for Minorities (MSDPM) in selected
minority concentration districts, i.e. of 990 crore
3. The budget for pre and
post metric scholarship to
minority students has also been enhanced, i.e Rs 180
crore for pre-metric and Rs 63 crore for post
new schemes of National Fellowship for Students from
the Minority Community has been announced.
5. Grants-in-aid to Maulana Azad Education Foundation
is almost doubled.
6. The National Minorities Development & Finance
Corporation will also receive an increased amount.
The ongoing IDMI scheme will receive an allocation
of Rs 4.5 crore.
8. Rs 45 crore has been earmarked for the SPQEM.
9. Aligarh Muslim University will be supported to open
for the first time its off campuses in two Muslim
concentration districts, Murshidabad (63.67%) and
Mallapuram (68.53%). This will highly benefit local
people in acquiring quality education. For this the
university receive a budgetary provision of Rs 25
The formation of National Mission for Female
Literacy with a focus on minorities, SCs and STs
will surely benefit Muslims to a great extent.
11. The community will also get assisted from all
schemes earmarked for people below poverty line
since Muslims are on the adverse side of the number
Although budget provisions for
minorities and the Muslim community as a whole
satisfy the long-term aspirations of the community,
however seeing the size of the minority population
and its glaring backwardness they seem meagre and
inadequate. The resolve of the ministry of human
resource in the previous term of the UPA government
for establishing three minority universities each at
Ajmer, Gulbarga and Bareilly by creating special
waqf is missing in the present budget estimates. The
extension programme of the AMU needs to be extended
to some other highly Muslim dominated districts,
such as Dhubri (74.29%) and Kishanganj (67.58%).
This would have required a paltry additional amount
of Rs 25 crore. Perhaps this might be affected in
the ensuing fiscal.
Seeing the glaring illiteracy and
poverty of the people of Muslim minority, the one
measure that could alleviate the adverse conditions
could be to make arrangements for vocational
education and skill improvement programmes focused
on the minority youths. This would require
establishment of larger number of ITIs and
polytechnics in Muslim concentration areas. However,
no special allocation seems in the purview of
policymakers. Moreover, the traditional crafts
upheld by Muslims in large numbers for subsistence
needs to be technically improved and modernised on
the pattern of Khadi movement and hence, budgetary
mechanism should be used for ensuring the same as an
effective step towards alleviating poverty of the
community. Nevertheless, the budget 2009-10 fulfils
major demands for the welfare of the community and
now it depends on the government will, proactive
bureaucracy and diehard endeavours of Muslim NGOs
and community organisations to ensure better fruits
of the allocations and underlying intention.