The government has approved projects worth Rs 6,300 crore for socio-economic welfare of the minority communities under the Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) in the 11th and 12th five-year plans, a response to an RTI query has revealed.
According to the response from the Minority Affairs Ministry, the programme was started in the year 2008-09 in 90 Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs).
The reply stated that during the 11th five-year plan, an amount of Rs 3,780 crores was allocated out of which projects worth Rs 3734 crores were approved. In the 12th five-year plan, projects worth Rs 2,756 crores were approved and an amount of Rs 1,598.96 crore had been released for the purpose.
However, there have been allegations from several communities that the allocated funds have not been utilised properly for their benefit.
Commenting on this, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that several programmes were being reviewed and states were being directed to spend the allocated funds properly.
“States like Kerala and Madhya Pradesh are spending the allotted funds properly while the same cannot be said for states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. I have talked to Chief Ministers of the states which are not spending the funds properly,” he said.
In the response to the RTI query, the Minority Affairs Ministry has said that the implementation of this programme is planned at the level of blocks, towns, and communities.
The block level committees make plans for their blocks and forward it to the district level committee.
The district committee reviews the proposal and sends it to the state level committee. A committee at the central level has the authority to review and approve proposals.
Muradabad based RTI activist Saleem Baig had sent the RTI query on the welfare programmes being undertaken for the benefit of minority communities.
According to the figures by the Minority Affairs Ministry, despite the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme for the benefit of minorities being launched many years ago, several states are still lagging behind in meeting the programme targets.