AS HIS government’s last year in power begins, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has for the first time taken cognizance of minority welfare schemes that come under minister Azam Khan’s jurisdiction. With projects lying incomplete and funds released for schemes unused, Akhilesh is likely to soon hold a review meeting of development projects for minorities.
Officials believe this will provide necessary fillip to various welfare schemes meant for the community. According to reports, while the financial year is coming to an end, hardly 25 per cent of the funds meant for government welfare schemes for minorities has been utilised.
In 2015-16, the minority welfare department was allocated Rs 1,024 crore for various schemes. Out of this, only Rs 322 crore has been used so far in projects like construction of colleges, aanganwadi and health centres, schools for girls and infrastructure activities, including laying interlocking tiles and construction of drains.
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Another flagship scheme of Akhilesh — he had earmarked 20 per cent of quota for minorities in nearly 80 government welfare schemes — has also not given desired results. Though regular meetings are held at department levels, progress of projects have remained far from satisfactory.
Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, while addressing a rally in Azamgarh on March 22, had said that though government listens to most problems faced by minorities, he is still not satisfied on several issues and would like to hold discussions.
“There are several issues that delay projects of the minority development. Things should be done in a mission mode and there should be commitment for the welfare of minorities. This zeal is lacking among several officials,” Officer on Special Duty (Minority Welfare) S P Singh said.
He added: “Several other issues that have delayed minority welfare projects include lack of coordination among several departments and unavailability of land for various projects. But things will speed up now as we are following it up regularly.”