Mumbai: Maharashtra Minorities Development Minister Eknath Khadse asked Muslim Wakf Board officials on Friday to ensure that the state government's permission is obtained before leasing Wakf Board administered land to any organisation.
"Maharashtra has one lakh acres of Wakf land. Land is given to various organisations on lease, including educational institutions owned by politicians as per rules," Khadse told reporters at Mantralaya here.
"I have told the officials during a meeting today not to lease out land without state government permission," the minister said.
"I have asked them to check if they could have lease through an auction," Khadse said, adding that bidding for such land could be conducted online.
The income accrued should be deposited to the Wakf Board, he said.
"Wakf Board officials said people could approach courts on the issued of lease period. I told them we will modify the rules if needed," he said.
"I told them to use funds for community development initiatives. So much money can be collected so that Muslims would not have to seek help from anywhere else," he said.
Urdu Academy programmes should go beyond poetry and "shayari" events and efforts should be made to popularise excellent old Urdu literary works, he said.
Urdu should not be limited to Muslims alone but should reach common man, he said.
The Maharashtra government would also allocate some seats in district-level polytechnics and also hostels for girls from the minority community, he said.
The Guru Granth Sahib should also be made available at concessional rates, he said.
There should be a junior college at the tehsil level for minorities, he said, adding that Marathi language should be a compulsory subject in schools of all mediums.