Minority welfare schemes will be reviewed, says Rahman Khan

New Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan on Monday said the government will examine whether minorities are benefiting from various welfare schemes being implemented for them.

Speaking to reporters here after taking charge of the Ministry along with Ninong Ering, the minister of state, Khan said “the government has been receiving complaints that the benefits of various programmes designed for the minority community was not reaching the grassroot levels. The time has come to review the programmes.” Asked about Muslim youths being “victimised” by the police in terror cases, he said it is a sensitive issue and the matter is related to the Home Ministry.

“I feel no innocent person should be victimised,” the Minister said.

On his priorities in the Ministry, Khan said efforts will be to get measures like Prevention of Communal Violence Bill and Waqf Amendment Bill, passed by Parliament.

“The Waqf Amendment Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but was referred to a select committee by the Rajya Sabha. The committee has given its suggestions and our ministry has incorporated them. I hope that winter session would be productive and we would be able to get these bills passed,” he added.

Meanwhile, K H Muniyappa, the new Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister said the ministry will focus on implementation of skill development programmes aimed at providing employment to more and more youths in the country.

Speaking to reporters after assuming charge, he said the MSME sector employs about 600 lakh people employed in 261 lakh units in the country.    

On raising the sector’s contribution to total exports, Muniyappa said, “We have to increase the share of MSMEs in the country’s total exports. The MSME sector contributes 8 per cent of the country’s GDP, 45 per cent of the manufactured output and 40 per cent of exports. He also dismissed fears on FDI hurting home-grown small enterprises. “With FDI coming in (single-brand retail), it does not mean that it will be a problem for indigenous (small) industry,” he said.

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