PM may write to states on vacating Wakf properties
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Last Updated: Saturday, May 29, 2010, 00:02
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to write to state governments to vacate Wakf properties occupied by them, Minorities Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday.

"I have requested the Prime Minister to write to the state governments urging them to vacate Wakf properties without litigation which either the state governments or Central agencies have occupied," Khurshid told reporters here.

He said the states would also be requested to provide compensation to Wakf boards if the properties cannot be vacated.

"This will happen after the Wakf Amendment Bill gets clearance from Parliament. While Lok Sabha had cleared it in the Budget session, it is pending with the Rajya Sabha.

Asked about the much-hyped Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), he said initiatives for the proposed body were on the right track.

"Two meetings of the Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister A K Antony have already taken place. A third meeting is likely soon," he said.

The Union minister also scoffed at suggestions that the proposed panel will undermine the role of other bodies like the Minorities Commission.

"While the EOC will ensure that minorities get a fair representation in education and jobs, the Minority Commission swings into action when the rights of the minorities are violated," he explained.

He said the proposed commission will have the mandate of recommending incentives and disincentives on organisations which provide, or fail to provide, equal opportunities to minorities.

To a question on 'affirmative action' of the Government for inclusive growth, he said as Minister of Corporate Affairs, he has been in touch with the private sector which was willing to take initiatives.

"The software sector is willing to open schools and train members of the minority community to ensure that they get opportunities to compete at a later date," he said.


First Published: Saturday, May 29, 2010, 00:02

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