In order to sensitise the people especially the minorities about the very essence of having ‘BUDGET’ meant for their welfare, a first of its kind of a pre-budget panel discussion was held today with a theme of “Financial Year 2021-2022 Expectations of Minorities” at Nehru Auditorium, Madina Education Center, Nampally, Hyderabad.
Echoed in despair, much of the panellist and speakers at the discussion were seen affirmed on their views in calling the present situation a completely mess and explicitly complex state of affair being witnessed at the government level.
Multiplication of Minority budget holds no weight
Taking pot shots over the way the Telangana Government is ruling the state especially when it comes to fulfilling the promises being made to Muslims during the elections, the former Minister for Minority Welfare and a senior Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir said, “The intentions of the KCR government is not good. The government is not at all committed to provide 12 percent reservation to Muslim minorities. It is not even in a position to release funds for the welfare of Muslim community. The multiplication of budget for minorities is just a gimmick playing by the government.”
The government, he said, extending the ambit of budget time to time despite knowing that it could not be possible to release such a volume of funds. This is being witnessed since the last three years wherein the government gradually decreasing the volume of supplementary budget allocations meant for the welfare of Muslims. “No one in TRS can dare to approach Chief Minister with issues concerning people especially the Muslims. No officer or politician can dare to sit with KCR and discuss the budget allocations and release of funds for Muslims,” asserted Shabbir.
Lack of commitment hitting welfare measures
“To focus comprehensively on minority welfare demands proper financing, implementing agencies, infrastructure and the proper staff. However, lack of commitment on the government and official level is hitting hard the minority welfare measures in the state. The present situation is not at all conducive for welfare and development as the proper implementing mechanism to usher an episode of welfare and is missing,” Syed amind-ul-Hasan Jaffery, Member of Legislative Council.
Iftar, graveyards, and Shadi Mubarak serve no purpose
“The essence of allocating the budget has now confined only to holding Iftar parties, supervision of graveyards, Urdu academy and shadi mubarak scheme which is not the very purpose of allocating a budget to uplift a community. What linguistic promotion has to do with the financial upliftment of a community? Iftar parties and distribution of sarees among poor women would ultimately convey wrong message to few parties particular BJP to spit venom like government is resorting to appeasement of minorities. The primary focus should be given to housing, finance and education of the targeted community,” Argue Prof.Amir Ullah Khan while delivering keynote at the meeting.
Explaining that there are several reasons that are hinting towards an extremely low outlay this year for the welfare of minorities, he said, “While the central government is facing a financial deficit due to pandemic as the revenue generation largely comes through tax, VAT and GST collections. Moreover, the present political turmoil prevailing in the country too cast a shadow over the trade and business industry. In such a volatile situation, the state government may avoid venturing into trouble waters by offering bloated outlays this time. If the overall budget displays an impact trend, the same will be reflected on the proposed outlay being brought for the minorities this time,” he elaborated.
Housing, Finance, and Education to promote
“If the government is talking about the poverty among the Muslim community then the whole gamut points towards three core issues like housing, financing and education and lacking of these welfare components has a direct bearing on their social stability. Why have so many people died recently in a flood, just because they don’t have proper abode to live in. Most of the houses that damaged during the flood were semi constructed or made up of asbestos shades. There should be diversity index of the budget allocations and annual report of spending on the welfare of Minority community as being exercise in other nations. This will explain how many poor Muslims especially the women get the employment, how many Schedule casts get the jobs,” added Prof.Amir Ullah.
Helping weak should be the law of civilization
Discerning the difference between the civilised society and the brutal world of jungle, Gulzar Karishma Malik, a Charted Accountant by profession, said, “Fittest can survive is the law of jungle while help the weak survive is the law of civilisation. Straightly, the state government should work to uphold the law of civilisation. This pre-budget analysis calls us all to discuss how can we help the weak to survive and how this state can lead an example for others.”
Mosques as community centers
“The government should primarily focus on introducing financial inclusion programs and more precisely the small traders should be financially included. Minority Departments too should focus on financial literacy and financial inclusion programs. The children of our family should understand the power of savings and the concept of investment and how the financial strengthening of a family can be improved trough the art of savings. This could help the poor people avoid a debt trap they usually languished through money laundering. In the absence of proper education about savings and investments, today, lots of distress NRI’s from gulf and foreign countries, are complaining about exhausting of their hard earnings while we are not having a proper channel or mechanism like Kerala to address the grievances of the NRIs,” she explain. She also emphasised the need to use the mosques as community centres to promote skills and help people empower themselves.
The Plight of Old City
“You cannot ignore the plight of old city when you are really talking about the minorities. This particular area has been treated very unfairly. The promises made during the elections go over like a lead balloon after the results emerge. No development is being witnessed in the old city unlike the other part of the city. The whole thing is nothing but a vote bank policy,” bemoaned Sheela Sara Mathews, a Social Activist.
Old city as a “Tourism hub”
“Within two kilometres of radius there are around 61 monuments still stands tall like Osmania General Hospital, Government City College, High Court, the famous Devan Devdi Arch, Badshahi Ashoor Khana and Khilwat Palace which are wallowing in a negligible state. However, the much contentions Charminar Pedestrian Project being mooted in the undivided Andhra Pradesh state with an outlay of Rs.35 crore has not been completed yet even though current government completed seven long years in the ruling. Consequently, peoples’ livelihood has been affected on a great proportion but still the work has not been completed. Hawkers chased out from the area, shop keepers at lad bazaar cry about water stagnation and heaps of rubble. So this project needs to be completed as soon as possible. If the projects get the shape at its earliest we can develop the old city as a tourism hub,” she explained.