Bill on Wakf Boards` functioning in budget session

A bill to streamline the functioning of Wakf Boards across the country will be tabled in the coming budget session of Parliament.

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2010, 18:52 PM IST

New Delhi: A bill to streamline the
functioning of Wakf Boards across the country will be tabled
in the coming budget session of Parliament.

The Bill, which seeks to amend the Wakf Act, 1995, would
give more teeth to Central Wakf Council. The council acts as
an intermediary body between the Centre and 29 Wakf Boards in
the states, which take care of public properties of minority
community including madrassas and mosques.
"Wakf Bill is ready. It will come before Parliament in
this session," Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said
on the sidelines of a meeting of the Dargah Committee for
Ajmer Sharif Dargah.

Earlier, the Law Ministry had vetted the draft proposal
for amendment in the existing Wakf Act a few months back
thereby facilitating its tabling before the House. Khurshid
had also then termed it a "priority issue".

The government`s move to amend the Wakf Act followed a
report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, which had
suggested amendment in the existing Wakf Management Act and
sweeping reforms in the general Wakf administration.
The decision was taken as the supervision, monitoring and
control of Wakf properties across the country have been found
wanting and many cases of misuse, irregularities in sale of
Wakf properties and encroachment of land used by the Board and
its properties were reported in the past, sources in the
ministry said.

Khurshid said the government is moving forward towards
establishing three national universities under public private
partnership (PPP) model on Wakf lands to ensure better
educational facilities for Muslims.

"Of the three universities proposed at Ajmer (Rajasthan),
Mysore (Karnataka) and Kishanganj (Bihar), the one in Ajmer
will be built on the land given by the Khwaja Gharib Nawaz
Dargah and the curriculum of these universities will have a
focus on Sufi education as well," Khurshid said.

He said that Ministries of HRD and Law have already given
their agreement in principle for the proposal and a team of
Maulana Azad Education Foundation has carried out the
technical survey of the proposed land for it.

Khurshid said the universities would keep some seats
exclusively for socially and economically backward Muslims
though admissions will also be from general category.

He said the idea is to ensure that minorities get
advantage without any controversy related to minority and
non-minority status of universities, which are continuing in
case of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia.

Responding to reports of minuscule expenditure of the
allotment of government funds for Multi Sectoral Development
Plans, Khurshid said, "We can give new allotments to states
only after they submit utilisation certificate". He said
implementation would be better after the national monitors
appointed by the ministry start working after two months.

About Ranganath Misra Commission, which recommended
reservation for minorities, Khurshid said the process of
inter-ministerial consultation over it is still on.