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`Union budget disappointing for Muslims'

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan unit of Jamat-e-Islami Hind has termed the Union Budget for 2007-08 "disappointing" for Muslims, saying the Central Government does not seem serious about improving the socio-economic lot of the community despite the recommendations of the Justice Rajindar Sachar Committee.

The Jamat-e-Islami held a debate on the Budget at its headquarters here over the weekend, in which the participants said the Muslim community was expecting a better deal from the UPA Government in the Centre in view of its commitment to work for welfare of marginalised sections.

Besides, the Budget would increase the debt burden on the common man, while there was no hope for a reduction in the prices of essential commodities in the near future, said the participants. They felt that some sections of society, such as the educated unemployed youth in the urban areas, are directly affected by price rise.

Jamat-e-Islami State president Mohammed Salim said the Budget had made no allocation to facilitate implementation of any of the Sachar Committee recommendations. "The Government's proposals to take steps for betterment of Muslims should be matched by adequate financial allocations. The Budget is unsatisfactory on this front," he said.

The meagre increase of Rs. 63 crore in the budget of the Minorities' Development and Finance Corporation was described as insufficient. Mr. Salim said it would turn out to be a hike of Rs. 4 per person of the minority communities, which was "laughable''.

Educationist Abdul Razaq said the provision of Rs. 381 crore for giving scholarships to Muslim students and for development of districts with a significant population of minorities was highly inadequate. The Muslim organisations had urged Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to allocate Rs. 10,500 crore under this head.

The community had demanded an additional Rs. 1,000 crore for the institution.

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