Centre's scheme for minorities yet to begin in 6 states

Centre's scheme for minorities yet to begin in 6 states

While a total of Rs 1,470 crore was earmarked for the implementation of the scheme in 2019-20, the ministry could spend Rs 469.22 crore (31.92%) up to October 31, 2019. Photo/PTI

A Union government's scheme, which seeks to develop infrastructure and basic amenities in the minority concentration areas primarily for education, health and skill development of the community members, is yet to take off in six states and Union territories including Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry since its roll out in 2008.

Other states and Union territories where the scheme is yet to take off are Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Goa.

While the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) are yet to reach the people living in the above six states, not a single project under the scheme was approved by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs for the Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in 2018-19.

In 2018-19, according to Ministry's data, a total of Rs 4.86 crore fund were sanctioned for the Haryana (Rs 1.50 crore), Jharkhand (Rs 0.32 crore) and Andaman & Nicobar ( Rs 2.86 crore), but none of the projects under the scheme was approved by the government.

Taking note of the trend, a parliamentary standing committee has expressed concern over it in a recent report on the Minority Affairs Ministry's demands for grants for the year 2019-20, recommending for “a better coordination” with the State government for implementation of the scheme.

The parliamentary committee in its report has also taken note of the under-utilisation of the funds earmarked for the ministry's multi-sectoral development programme, which was revised and rechristened as the PMJVK last year for socio-economic development of the minority communities at 1300 identified minority concentration areas across the country.

While a total of Rs 1,470 crore was earmarked for the implementation of the scheme in 2019-20, the ministry could spend Rs 469.22 crore (31.92%) up to October 31, 2019.

The parliamentary panel rapped the Ministry over the way the programme was being implemented, saying it was “disquieting” to observe that a total of Rs 4858.10 crore have remained unspent under the scheme so far (since 2008) while the fund utilisation certificates against the sanctioned projects worth Rs 3737.91 were yet to be submitted by the respective States to the ministry.

“The committee recommends better coordination between the State governments, blocks and district level committees for efficient monitoring of projects under the PMJVK as well as close monitoring by the empowerment committee in the Ministry,” the parliamentary penal stated in its report.

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