Wakf income can solve all problems of minorities: Heptulla

Hyderabad, Sep 21 (IANS) Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla on Monday said the income generated from Wakf properties across the country can help solve all problems faced by the minorities regarding their development.

She told media persons here that an annual income of Rs.12,000 crore as estimated by the Sachar Committee in its 2006 report will ensure implementation of the schemes without imposing a burden on the government.

She said the Sachar Committee in its report stated that Wakf property is spread over six lakh acres across the country.

As many Wakf properties were encroached, a bill to remove the encroachemnts and develop them is pending in parliament.

Heptulla exuded confidence that the bill will be passed in the winter session or the budget session.

“I will speak to M. Venkaiah Naidu (parliamentary affairs minister) to list the bill in the coming session. If not this session, the bill will definitely be passed in the budget session,” she said.

She said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, to which the bill was referred, recently gave its report.

To deal with the problem of encroachments firmly, the panel recommended increasing imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs.1 lakh for encroachers on Wakf property.

She said the department was implementing various schemes for the development of minorities in tune with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ‘sab ka saath, sab ka vikas’.

While her ministry was working for all six minority communities, the focus was on Muslims as they are the largest in number and most backward, she said.

She pointed out that the Sachar Committee in its report said the condition of Muslims was worse than that of Dalits.

Targetting the Congress party, she said the Muslims were worst victims of the excesses committed by the party.

She denied that attacks on minorities have increased since the BJP-led NDA came to power last year. “There has not been a single attack or a riot. This is all in your mind,” she said in reply to a query.

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