The Telangana Minorities Welfare Department’s ‘populist schemes’, most visibly Shaadi Mubarak, the one-time financial assistance of ₹1,00,116 at the time of marriage, and budget allocations for iftar and Christmas parties are also the most fund-utilised schemes in the past nine years.
In contrast, the performance of schemes that could help change the lives of minorities is poor, finds ASEEM (Association for Socio-Economic Empowerment of the Marginalised), a Hyderabad-based grassroots advocacy organisation.
“Schemes such as Shaadi Mubarak and funds for the iftar party do not help the communities. What about the implementation of schemes for education and livelihood that directly impact people’s lives? Poorly performed,” said Ali Asghar and S.Q. Masood of ASEEM.
They back their version with facts collected over two years through the Right to Information Act, fieldwork and case studies. The findings also expose the lack of transparency in the functioning of the department, its unimplemented schemes, the under-utilised funds and the discrimination in terms of budget allocation.
Addressing a State-level consultation on the development of Muslims, the duo presented the performance of schemes and elicited the opinions of retired employees, political leaders, professors and members of civil society. The organisation proposes to document the recommendations and approach political parties to effect change.
According to their RTI replies, the MWDs budget allocation of ₹1,973 crore (2018-19) was the highest since 2014, followed by ₹1, 724 (2022-23), but the utilisation rate was about 61% and 72% respectively.
“A scheme-wise analysis showed that higher budget utilisation is due to implementation of populist schemes (such as Shaadi Mubarak and iftar).”
For education, fund utilisation improved during the last three years, but students’ complaints over the government not reimbursing tuition fee persists. For 2022-23, of the ₹200 crore allocated, ₹79.59 was expended.
Except for Chief Minister’s overseas scholarship scheme, which shows 74% utilitsation of the budget, other schemes like bank-linked subsidy scheme (2.11%), training & employment (10.29%), and reimbursement of tuition fee (39.79%) were poorly utilised. The allocations for pre-matric scholarships were also reduced to ₹2.46 crore since 2019-2020.
The findings also summarily suggest that MWD was at the receiving end in terms of budget allocation – Muslims of about 14.57% population got 0.83% of the budget, in comparison to SC (17%) got 9% and ST (9.88%) got 5.34%.
According to Mr. Ali and Mr. Masood, the ‘irony at its peak’ is the state of ‘non-statutory benefits for minorities on par with SCs & STs’ announced by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in 2018.
“No evidence was found regarding budgetary allocations for new schemes announced in 2018 – coaching in TOEFL/IELTS/GRE/GMAT, financial assistance to law graduates, skill development centres in Hyderabad, Warangal, Nizamabad and Mahbubnagar, constituting a Minorities Welfare Fund, incentives under T-IDEA and T-PRIDE, micro irrigation, construction of green house/polyhouse scheme, and land development for minorities. No guidelines have been issued by the Department till date.”
The consultation resolved for a sub-plan status for minorities, need assessment and social audit of schemes, transparency of data in public domain, filling up of vacancies and infrastructure for MWD.
If you want to register your marriage in thane visit : https://marriageregistrationthane.com/court-marriage-registration-in-thane