Naqvi refutes allegations of underutilization of funds

Refuting allegations of underutilization of funds, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday clarified that his ministry has used the maximum funds — as compared to previous years — for the development of the minorities in the country.

While clarifying further, he said that his ministry will be able to spend 100 per cent fund on major schemes by the end of the current fiscal.

“Expenditure of the Ministry of Minority Affairs has been higher compared to last several years. By the month-end (as the financial year ends), we will be able to spend 100 per cent on welfare schemes,” the minister said.

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The minister’s statement came after the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment in its report on March 8 had expressed displeasure over underutilization of budgetary allocations by the MoMA and said it would not make any further suggestion to the ministry on the matter.

The committee in its report alleged that the ministry had spent only 66.58 per cent of the INR 4,195.48 crore up to February 20 and reiterated that the underutilization of funds was more or less due to the same reasons which were presented by the ministry last year.

Replying to the committee’s allegations, Naqvi said 99 per cent of the ministry’s schemes have gone online, citing example of the scholarship schemes such as pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means going digital.

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“Scholarships have been provided through direct benefit transfer and 62 per cent of the beneficiaries are girl students,” he said, adding, “The expenditure under the ministry’s Maulana Azad National Fellowship till yesterday was over 80 per cent (INR 99.87 crore).”

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Naqvi said the MoMA has granted INR 113 crore to the Maulana Azad Education Foundation and the allocation for the Waqf Board computerisation has gone beyond 100 per cent.

“By month-end, we will be able to spend 100 per cent of allocation. The expenditure under multi-sectoral development programme is 87 per cent (INR1042.48 crore till yesterday),” he said.

According to reports, the expenditure of the MoMa on pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means programmes is in the range between 80 per cent and 85 per cent.

On the pre-matric scheme, the expenditure has been INR 925.83 crore till yesterday and the spending on post-matric and merit-cum-means schemes have been INR 395.84 crore and INR 295.20 crore respectively, according to reports.