Hyderabad: The minorities welfare department has drafted a policy document to provide loans to entrepreneurs belonging to the minority communities for establishing manufacturing units and starting service centres.
The Walf Board will also start construction of the international Islamic cultural centre during the financial year as it has received adequate amount of money from the state government as a grant. The government is providing six acres of land in Kokapet on the city outskirts where a state of the art facility is proposed to be constructed at a cost of Rs 40 crore.
The Chandrasekhar Rao government proposed in 2017 to establish T-Prime on the lines of TS-Pride, a welfare scheme started for SC/ST entrepreneurs, to encourage minority entrepreneurs. It earmarked Rs 25 crore for this project in 2018-19 but the funds were not released.
This time too, government has made a provision of Rs 25 crore for this project and released Rs 6.25 crore.
Director, minorities welfare, Shahnawaz Qasim said that government had released Rs 573.1 crore towards the first quarter for various schemes and programmes of the department for 2019-20. He said that a high level committee had prepared a policy document on lending to minority entrepreneurs.
Loans will be provided to industrialists and entrepreneurs belonging to the minority communities to establish their units in the special economic zone. The loans will be provided by the department in consultation with the industries and commerce departments.
Mr Qasim said that they hadreceived Rs 202.87 crore for minority residential institutions, Rs 113.25 crore for various scholarships, Rs 100 crore for the Shadi Mubarak scheme and Rs 20 crore as grant in aid to the Wakf Board, while Rs 33 crore was released towards Ramzan and Christmas gifts and Iftar parties.
He claimed that 71 per cent of the budgetary allocations for minorities was released by state government last year.
Replying to a question regarding bank linked schemes of the Minorities Finance Corporation, he admitted that disbursement of loans could not be completed due to the election code of conduct, but assured that loans will be provided very soon.
Mr Mir Firasath Ali Baqri, spokesperson, BJP Telangana Minority Morcha, said that if the government released the funds on time, welfare schemes and developmental programmes could be completed on scheduke, Last year due to delay in release, beneficiaries, particularly students, suffered a lot.
He argued that 70 per cent of the budgetary allocations is earmarked for schemes related to education and academics. He said there was a need to focus on economic development of minorities for which government has to introduce new schemes and enhance the allocation for loans. He suggested implementing the direct lending programme as promised by the TRS government.
Social activist Mohammed Asif Hussain Suhail welcomed the release of fund. He said that it was true that government was focusing on the educational improvement of minorities, but it was necessary to concentrate on the socioeconomic development of the community as the effects of educational development will only appear over a decade.
"If we concentrate on economic development, immediate results will be achieved which indirectly improve educational status as well," Mr Hussain said.
He said that government should constitute a committee of experts in economics to study the economic situation of minorities and suggest new modules to improve their economic status. He suggested that government introduce a direct loan scheme and group loan for grounding bigger units by a group of beneficiaries.