Mumbai: Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday said the Centre will give Rs 100 crore to the Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation for providing financial assistance and subsidised loans to members of minority communities.
"Naqvi told me that the Centre has decided to give the Rs 100 cr grant to the Corporation (of Maharashtra government), after the state government submits a guarantee," state Minister for Minority Affairs Eknath Khadse told reporters after a meeting with Naqvi during which the Union minister reviewed implementation of minorities-related development schemes.
Naqvi, who also met with minority community leaders, said Maharashtra needed to speed up implementation of schemes and utilisation of central funds.
Stating that education was the priority area for minority empowerment, Naqvi said Maharashtra had been able to achieve only 38 per cent progress in opening of 1,000 primary schools for minorities.
The progress card of Maharashtra under various schemes ranged from 30-45 per cent, nowhere crossing the half way mark.
"The decision to release Central funds often depends upon the utilisation rate of the previous grants. Maharashtra needs to look into this matter and speed up implementation rate. A state like Kerala has already utilised 100 per cent funds and has capacity to absorb more," he said.
Naqvi referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's thrust on skill development and said it was one of the sure ways to empower minority youth.
Citing example of government-industry cooperation in Delhi, Naqvi suggested Maharashtra government should explore possibility of entering into MoUs with corporates, industry and service institutions for supply of skilled manpower.