Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah today said that the property belonging to Muslim Sunni and Shia Waqf boards in the country will be registered and developed to fund minority welfare activities.
"Six lakh acres of waqf property is spread all over India. If we develop them according to the Sachchar Committee report they will provide anywhere between Rs 20,000 crore and 25,000 crore per annum. This money can be used for the welfare and upliftment of Muslims in the country," Heptullah said here.
She added that to make this happen, waqf boards in the country will be reconstituted and the property belonging to them will be registered to facilitate their digitisation. Linkages with 'Aadhaar' number will also be provided to bring in transparency in the activities.
"Some people may feel bad about these measures, but they are for the benefit of the Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has entrusted me to oversee their implementation. Our officers have started discussing it with waqf boards. They are doing it in Patna today," Heptullah said.
The Union Minister was speaking at a function at the Bihar BJP headquarters here, while talking about various schemes initiated by the Centre for the welfare of six categories of minorities - Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis.
Expressing anguish over the "backward" condition of the minorities, especially Muslims in Bihar, Heptuallah said central funds for scholarships, education of girls, multi-sectoral skill development are being sent, but the state has failed in utilising them.
"It is a said thing that less than 50 per cent of money that we sent has been spent on various minority welfare schemes and when we inspect on the ground level, we find mismatch and huge gaps in the expenditure and reality," she said.
The Union Minister added that all data regarding sent funds, expenditure and ground reality will be made available online to bring transparency and show the exact status of the welfare schemes.
She said the Prime Minister wants "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas" (all inclusive development) and the aim of the Union Minority Affairs Department is to usher in financial, economic development among the poor people of minority communities.