Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced a package for the imams of the state,which include a remuneration of Rs 2,500 per month,a housing scheme,and stipends for their children.
The money will be given through the Wakf Board and the proposals will be made effective from the Bengali New Year if it is approved by the members of a Task Force Committee to be formed with Imams as members, said the CM at the packed-to-capacity auditorium of Netaji Indoor Stadium,
Trinamool Congress leaders like Firhad Hakim,Sudip Bandopadhyay,Sultan Ahmed,Javen Khan,Mukul Ray,Partha Chatterjee,Subrata Mukherjee,Amit Mitra and Malay Ghatak among others were also present,
The announcements have,however,failed to live up to the expectations of those present. We were expecting that the remuneration of imams to be around Rs 20,000. Since the CM has sougt our feedback,we will request her to raise it to Rs 10,000 at least, said Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati ,Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid.
Maulana Athar Abbas Rizvi,Imam Cossipore Masjid,another member of the committee,too,said the remuneration was not enough. I will request the imams to accept it for the time being,and then seek a hike later rather than decline the offer, he said.
Abdul Qayyum Biswas,an imam from North 24-Parganas,said: What can Rs 2,500 fetch? We were promised the moon and then asked to be happy with a paltry sum,
Others like Maulana Tausiqui Hussain cited an earlier assurance made by Trinamool minister Mukul Roy. At a meeting in Haj House,he had promised that the remuneration would be to the tune of Rs 20,000,this announcement has come as a disappointment to us, he said.