Prime Minister Inaugurates 9th Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions
Address Problems of Religious Minority Groups as a Class of Citizen - Sh. K. Rahman Khan
The Government has tried its best to ensure social and economic justice to minority communities. This was stated by the Prime Minister, Dr. Man Mohan Singh while inaugurating the 9th Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions here today. He said that the New 15-Point Programme for minorities that the UPA Government launched in 2006 aims at ensuring the well-being, protection and development of minorities. The focus of the programme is to ensure that the benefits of various development schemes and programmes of the Government accrue in equitable measure to minorities, especially those located in minority concentration areas. Wherever possible, 15% of the targets and outlays under various poverty alleviation schemes are required to be earmarked for minorities. A reasonable representation of minorities is also expected to be ensured in the Government, including the public sector enterprises. The National Commission for Minorities and State Minorities Commissions must continue to play a proactive role and strengthen the hands of the Government by recommending suitable measures for improving the socio-economic condition of minorities, the Prime Minister added.
Speaking on the occasion , Shri K. Rahman Khan, the Union Minister for Minority Affairs called upon the National Minorities Commission and State Minorities Commissions to safeguard the Constitutional rights of the religious minorities and linguistic minorities. Asking State Minorities Commissions to be eyes and ears of the Ministry at delivery level, the Minister urged to address the problems of each of religious minority group as a class of citizen and not as religious group. Highlighting the important priorities of the Ministry, he said that the Government is actively considering the inclusion of Jains in the minority community so that the benefits of welfare schemes run by the Government of India could be extended to the Jain community also. The constitution of Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) is also under active consideration of the Government, the Minister added. EOC will ensure equal access to opportunity, entitlements/ rights to deprived groups belonging to minority communities. The Minister further informed that the Government has approved the establishment of a new National Wakf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO) to be launched shortly. For better management of the large areas of waqf lands in the country either encroached or lying idle the Waqf (Amendment) Act 2013 has already come into force from September 2013.
Earlier welcoming the participants and guests Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman ,National Minorities Commission highlighted the achievements of the Commission. Referring to earlier annual conferences he informed that this conference has four more sessions. The topics to be deliberated in these sessions are “Schemes related with Welfare of Minorities”, “Employment”, “Benefits to Minorities in Poverty Alleviation” and “Education of Minorities”.
Shri Ninong Ering, the Minister of State for Ministry of Minority Affairs gave vote of thanks.