Hyderabad, Sept 11 (INN): The Congress party has strongly condemned the TRS Government for slashing the budget for minorities’ welfare by over 30% and described the move as a conspiracy to deprive minorities of education and economic empowerment.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Minorities Department Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail said that the budget for minorities’ welfare under State Sector Schemes has been reduced from Rs. 1884.43 Crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 1314.50 Crore in 2019-20 by cutting down Rs. 569.93 Crore or nearly 30.24%. “A closer look at department-wise cuts clearly show a pattern wherein TRS Government targetted education and economic upliftment of minorities, especially Muslims. Of 30 Heads of Departments/Schemes under Minorities Welfare, budget has been reduced by more than 50% for 17 schemes/HoDs,” he said. Furnishing the complete department-wise break up, Sohail said the budget has been cut by 100% for 3 HoDs, more than 90% for 2; more than 80% for 7; more than than 70% for 1 and more than 60% for 4 HoDs.
Explaning the break-up, Abdullah Sohail said the budget for Minorities Residential Schools has been slashed by 36%. As against Rs. 735 Cr allocated, this year it has been reduced to just Rs. 470.75 crore. “How will CM KCR justify reduction of Rs. 264.25 Crore for residential schools? A total of 216 minority residential institutions with 79,424 students are functional in the State. They are in the middle of academic year. Will the Chief Minister plans to cut the food supply, avoid paying rent for school buildings or stop paying salaries to teachers and staff? Or will KCR shut down half of the schools mid-way?” he asked.
Similarly, the Congress leader said that about 90% of budget for Pre-Matric Scholarships has been cut. From Rs. 30 crore last year, this year the amount has been slashed to a meagre Rs. 2.9 crore. Likewise, the amount for Scholarships to Minority Students has been cut from Rs. 100 crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 88.02 crore this year. This will affect lakhs of poor minority students. The budget for Overseas Study Scheme for Minorities has been reduced from Rs. 100 crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 73.57 Crore. A cut by Rs. 26.43 crore has shattered the dream of hundreds of poor, but brilliant students who were aspiring to study abroad.
Abdullah Sohail alleged that not a single rupee loan was given to minorities in TRS Govt’s first term although some allocations were made under Subsidy for Bank Linked Income Generated Schemes HoD. More than 1.5 lakh jobless minority youth had applied for loans in 2015-16, but no one got any assistance. Even applications were not accepted for four years. Last year Rs. 160 crore was allocated, but nothing was spent. This year this allocation has been reduced to just Rs. 28.31 Crore by enforcing a cut by 82%. “On an average if one jobless youth is given a loan of Rs. 1 lakh then by cutting down allocation of Rs. 131.69 Crore, KCR has denied loan opportunity to 13,169 deserving youth. If allocated amount is spent then only 2800 out of an average of 1.5 lakh applicants will get loan,” he said.
Similarly, he said that T-Prime & T-SEZ schemes remained a non-started. Last year, Rs. 25 crore was allocated, but not a single rupee was released. This year the amount has been reduced to zero while giving a silent burial to much hyped scheme.
The Congress leader also condemned the Chief Minister for cutting down the budget for Urdu Academy by over 79%. As against Rs. 40 crore in 2018-19, this year the budget is just Rs. 8.53 crore. This will not be sufficient even to pay salaries or meet other expenses. There will be no activities for promotion of Urdu or publication of books this year.
Abdullah Sohail slammed the State Government for huge deduction in budget for Telangana Christian Minorities Finance Corporation. “As against Rs. 12 crore allotted last year, this amount has been reduced to a mere Rs. 2.21 crore. How will the corporation support Christian youth with just Rs. 2 crore?” he asked. No amount has been allocated for construction of Christian Bhavan and Sikh Bhavan, he pointed out.
However, the Congress leader welcomed cut in budget for Dawat-e-Iftar and Christmas Feast. “Minorities are not interested in eating ‘Khajoor’ and ‘Biryani’ for one day. We want jobs and loans,” he said.
“CM KCR has openly targetted education and employment opportunities of poor minorities. He came to power on the promise of giving 12% reservation to Muslims in jobs and education. He created a hype of Rs. 2,000 crore budget for minorities. But neither 12% reservation was given nor the allocated budget was spent for minorities’ welfare since 2014-15,” he said.
Abdullah Sohail alleged that TRS Govt was worst than BJP in dealing with minorities. “KCR is implement the agenda of Sangh Parivar of hitting minorities in a covert manner. He should change the official colour of his party from ‘Pink’ to ‘Saffron’,” he said.
The Congress leader also challenged MIM to sever its ties with TRS for the drastic cut in budget for minorities’ welfare. However, he said now both MIM and TRS will enact a scripted drama in the Assembly. “Akbarbaruddin Owaisi will give an emotional speech. He will target KCR for cut in budget. He will speak in Convent English and KCR will reply in Urdu. Finally, KCR will give more assurances and at the end, the Appropriation Bill will be passed without any changes,” he said.
“MIM workers will make Akbaruddin Owaisi’s speech in social media viral to show how he slammed KCR and the TRS workers will circulate video clips of KCR’s assurances to Muslims. In the end, both will jointly cheat the poor Muslims of Telangana,” he said.
Abdullah Sohail said that by hitting education and job schemes of minorities, KCR himself has removed the fake mask of secularism from his face. Now people, especially minorities, should realise that KCR is nothing but a good actor. So far, he has played the role of a secular leader. But in reality, he was a RSS, BJP and Modi Bhakt since beginning,” he alleged.
He warned that the Congress party would launch a state-wise agitation against the cut in the budget for minorities’ welfare.