A study conducted by an Ahmedabad-based advocacy group, Rehnuma, has revealed that Gujarat has the lowest budgetary allocation for minorities among the seven states that were analysed in the study.
The report ‘Minority Appeasement: Myth or Reality? A Ground Report on Minority Welfare in 7 States’, was released in the city on Tuesday.
The seven states included in the report are — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana , West Bengal and Karnataka.
The report stated that all the low budget allocation states (LBA), with the sole exception of Jharkhand “showed a downward trend in annual allocation” for the three years — 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 — the study analysed, and the trend was the “sharpest for Gujarat”. On the other hand, high budget allocation (HBA) states showed a “steady improvement”. The report adds that among the HBA states, “Karnataka’s budget shows the sharpest rise from Rs 845.02 crore to Rs 2199.94 crore” between 2015-16 and 2017-18.
Tanay Gandhi from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) said, “The idea was to find out if the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme for the welfare of minorities is being implemented or not.”
He said, “In Gujarat, we studied Modasa. We conducted focus group discussions in Sahara colony, a rehabilitation settlement in Modasa. The community living there has no awareness about the 15-point programme or the benefits they were entitled to on being rehabilitated.”
The report notes that none of the states analysed have seen a change in government in the last three years.
According to the study, the allocation for Gujarat in 2017-18 was Rs 51.44 crore, while the highest was made in West Bengal.