Monday, June 14, 2010

No govt benefits for minorities in Arunachal, Assam

Minorities in nine districts of two Congress-ruled states Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are yet to receive benefits that they are entitled to under a key central government scheme, as the states have failed to approve the district plans so far.In Arunachal Pradesh, nine districts are included in the list of Minority Concentrated Districts (MCD) where the Centre is implementing a multi-sectoral development programme to address issues relating to education, skill development, employment, sanitation, housing, drinking water and power supply.However, seven MCDs, most of which have both socio-economic and basic amenities parameters below the national average, have not been able to avail the benefits."The District Plan of these districts could not be approved as none has been submitted by the state Government,despite repeated requests by the Ministry," sources in the government said.In Assam, there are 13 MCDs out of which the district plans of 11 were approved but the remaining two are still tobe included in the list because the state failed to submit their district plans.Ninety such districts were identified in 2007-08 of which the district plans of 81 have been approved by the Ministry ofMinority Affairs. North Sikkim district, which is the only MCD of the state, is the latest inclusion.Maximum number of MCDs fall in the BSP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, where the district plans have been approved for all 21 such districts followed by 12 in the CPI(M)-ruled West Bengal, where too the plans were approved.The Centre has also released funds for most of these districts.District Plans for all seven districts of NDA-ruled Bihar, six districts of Congress-ruled Manipur and four districts each from Maharashtra and Jharkhand, two districts each from Haryana, Uttarakhand, Mizoram and Karnataka have also been approved.Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Orissa and Andman and Nicobar have one each minority concentrate district and the district plans of most of these states have already been approved by the ministry and central fund released, a government official said.