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Muslim Development Agenda


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This is a draft for the report on the discussions held in 2011 with the participation of leading muslim leaders, intellectuals and thought leaders .

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Muslim Development Agenda

  1. 1. Muslim Development Agenda 2011A Charter of Demands and Concern of Religious Minoritiesfor the Union Budget 2011-2012A round table on the Union Budget was organised at Hall No. India InternationalCentre on 22 January, 2011 was organised by NEFM in collaboration with IndianMuslim Economic Development Agency (IMEDA) and discussed the critical issuesrelated to the allocation of budget with reference to the minorities especially Muslims.Setting the context ,Dr.M.J. Khan, the President of National Economic Forum ofMuslims and Managing Trustee,Indian Muslim Economic Development Agency(IMEDA) noted that concern of the Muslims in the budget has not got the attentionthat it deserves and like other social groups and, there hardly ever been an occasionwhen Muslims have been called for specific concerns of the community like someother groups that have met the government for sharing the specific concerns onallocation of the resource while formulating the budget. Recognising that UnionBudget making process is in the formative stage, he called for a deliberation on theissues in order to share the same with the government. He pointed out that responseshave been sent through email for the draft of the demands that would be incorporatedwith the common shared points that would emerged in the deliberations.The demands and concerns that emerged after the deliberations on the various issuesare noted below for the government and the political parties.Primary Education1. There is a need to focus on education with focus on setting up institutions ofhigher education in the districts, blocks in order to ensure that there are noaccess deficits with regard to same. UPA government has followed up with theScheme for the Universalisation of Secondary Education. There is a need toensure that infrastructure development should ensure that all the areasespecially with dense Muslim populations in the urban areas are provided withthe institutions of learning.2. There is a need to create a share for Muslims proportionate to the populationfor setting up educational institutions by Muslims as part of public-privatepartnership model.3. It is important to allocation fund for improvement in the quality of educationthrough training and professional development. There is need to devote specialfunds for the training and development of teachers in Madarsas that aresupported under SSA. It is important to ensure that per child average cost ofthe education reaches to children studying in Madarsas.4. In order to ensure that Muslim children feel culturally included, there is needto allocate special fund for assessing the content in relevant text book and formaking the same culturally responsive. In this regard, Muslim led civil societyorganisations should be selected following due diligence for ensuring that
  2. 2. culturally responsive content in added in order to represent the religio-culturaldiversity.5. RTE is a welcome initiative with provision for quality education in mothertongueSecondary EducationUPA government’s steps for universalisation of access to secondary educationthrough Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) is laudable. There is a needto enhance allocation of resource to Madrasas under SUCCESS in order to ensurebetter quality education in the Madrasas and making the graduates of the Madrasascompete well in the sectors that require the same.Higher EducationInterest free loans for higher education should be offered for all while expanding theaccess to public institutions of higher education. Higher education should berestrictive to students coming from rural areas from the farming, artisan, smallbusiness and landless families. If the regime of privatisation of education is promoted,this would further strengthen exclusion of large section of society across the socialgroups and therefore, there is an urgent need to have increased allocation of budgetfor ensuring affordable and cheaper access to higher education.Skill DevelopmentFor skill upgradtion and certification reasonable size of package for Muslims shouldbe allocated in order to bridge the gaps that exist in the demand and supply for theskills. Policy development should include coverage of the government recognisedmadarsas for augmenting the requirement of technical education in addition toexpanding the number of technical education institutions in the areas with muslimpopulation. .Monitoring of the Programmes• There is need to ensure community based monitoring of the implementation ofschemes. Currently, the reports show the statistics but there is no focus on theimpact of the implementation of the programmes. There is a need to ensureimpact oriented reporting for the utilisation of funds. At the district, state andnational level, there is a need to form a committee for augmenting andmonitoring the implementation of the programme with the participation ofcommunity leaders and Muslim led civil society organisations.• Monitoring for the Implementation of the National Flagship ProgrammeZakat should be freed from TaxationMuslims have to pay zakat as part of religious obligations and there are diverse ratesfor the same. Sunni Muslims pay @Rs.2.5 % per annum, Shia Muslims pay @ 20% .per annum and Islmaili Muslims pay @ 12.5% per month/ annum. These need tofreed from taxations in order to make the money available for communitydevelopment.
  3. 3. Islamic BankingNoting the initiatives of the government for studying the Islamic Banking ofMalaysia, recognising the recommendations of the Raghuraman committee and adviceof MS Swaminathan , we demand initiation of Islamic Banking on a pilot basis withdue change in the regulations of Reserve Bank of India.Financing for Small Enterprises:Noting the importance of RKVY where a small grant of Rs.25,000 was used forinitiating small enterprise generating livelihood opportunities for households, there isa need to initiate similar schemes in order to ensure that people interested in thetaking up livelihood options are15 % Share in the Public Housing SchemesIn order to ensure that public housing scheme and ownership patterns in the housing isinclusive following the motto of inclusive development, there is a need to ensure thatMuslims are ensured a share in the housing scheme promoting by governmentagencies such as Delhi Development Authority. Currently, there is quota for disabledand SC and ST each having a share of 5% in the all the houses. We demand thatminorities especially Muslims are ensure a share of 15% proportionate to theirpopulation. This would build cohesive urban spaces current share of Muslims in thepublic housing schemes is negligible. If Muslims do not get judicious share in thepublic housing schemes in the urban, all the claims of inclusive development wouldbe false and government would be perpetuating injustice. This is the best way toensure that Development is inclusive and theMulti-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP)Currently there is no guideline issued for the minorities. There is a guideline forspending 15% of the allocation for Muslims but the expenditure is not more than 7%on the Muslims. There is need to ensure that spending on the allocation is ensured forbridging the gaps in the indicators of development across the social groups especiallyMuslims. It is important to ensure engagement of PRIs and civil society organisationand community leaders who have been sensitive to the issues of communitydevelopment. Inclusive processes and practices need to be part of participatorygovernance across the districts, blocks and panchayatsMuslim Minority DistrictsThere is need to ensure more coverage for the Muslim concentrated districts under thePrime Ministers 15 point programme. If the current criteria of 25% population arereduced to 15% than there would be 152 districts that would be covered under theMuslim Concentration districts. There is a need to increase allocation for Muslims.Social Inclusion Audit, Diversity monitoring across the public and private sectororganisationsReporting on Social Inclusion with reference to the share of Muslims and minoritiesfollowing the overall share of communities in the populationInstitutional Growth
  4. 4. • Increase grants to Madarssa through Board and encourage formation ofMadarsa Education Board at the national and state level:• It is important to support institutional development through increasing thegrant share for Maulana Azad Education Foundation in order to make thefinancing for institutional development interest free .This could be used byMadrassas willing to add additional classrooms, equipments and assetsrequired for diversification in the teaching of disciplines and makingeducational infrastructure qualitatively better.• It has been found that utilisation rate of the grants of Maulana AzadFoundation is very high. Out of 650 grantees, only 15 were found defaultingand notice were sent to 6 for recovery of the amount. Considering such asuccessful utilisation of the grants by Maualana Azad Foundation , there isneed to increase the corpus fund for the foundation. This should increase to thetune of 5000 crores considering the utilisation pattern of the grants of MaulanaAzad Educational Foundation.• Softening the rigor for approval of the institutions for secondary education andhigher education. There is a need to involve Muslim led civil societyorganisations in the process of approval, accreditation andMinority Finance Development Corporation• There are several states that have not formed the counterpart organisations ofnational Minority Finance Development Corporations.• Capital share for the MFDC needs to be increased and its outreach extended todistrict and block level. Application process should be made easier in order toenable small scale entrepreneurs to apply for financing of their enterprises.• There are conditions for the getting guarantees from the government officialsand that is indeed difficult for many applicants. Such hurdles need to beremoved from the application procedures.Awqaf( Muslim Endowments)• The awqaf is an important source of poverty reduction of Muslim and thisneeds to be used for the purpose. In this regard, it was pointed out more than10000 crores worth of funding could be available if the proceeds from the useof Waqf properties were collected properly and encroachments both publicand private were removed in order to ensure that endowment properties areused as per the will of those who made these endowments spread all over thecountry. In order to ensure that proceeds from the Awqaf are usedproperly and develop the properties of Awqaf, a National WaqfDevelopment Council should be formed using the best business practices.• There is a critical need to liberate all the encroachments on the Waqf propertyor ensure that rents are collected at the market rate for benefitting the poorestamong the Muslims and building institutions for the extending supporting thecause of poverty reduction as per the will of those who endowed the propertyfollowing the provisions of Islamic Sharia.Haj Corporation of IndiaEvery year there are considerable number of Muslims who are travelling to Meccaand Madina for the purpose of Umra and Haj that is currently managed by HajjCommittees in India. It is suggested that formation of a Hajj Corporation of India
  5. 5. would serve the interest of the pilgrims better and this should be formed in order togenerate cost efficient and quality service for the travellers.Awareness on the National Flagship Programmes and othersThere is a need to create community based mechanisms for disseminating theinformation about the national flagship programmes and others as it is due to theabsence of awareness about the schemes that there are deficits in accessing thenational flagship programmes.Draft: Muhammad Mukhtar Alam,Ph.D
  6. 6. would serve the interest of the pilgrims better and this should be formed in order togenerate cost efficient and quality service for the travellers.Awareness on the National Flagship Programmes and othersThere is a need to create community based mechanisms for disseminating theinformation about the national flagship programmes and others as it is due to theabsence of awareness about the schemes that there are deficits in accessing thenational flagship programmes.Draft: Muhammad Mukhtar Alam,Ph.D